Building on an augmented reality (AR)-emoji tool powered by  for users released last December, short-video app Kuaishou announced today that it is using similar technology to create live-stream options for cartoon characters.

So far two popular accounts on its app have used the new service to produce full-length livestreams, Tencent News reported. The new service uses AR technology and facial recognition to bring the cartoons to “life.” By detecting the movements of a person’s mouth, eyes, limbs, and more, the system can replicate similar expressions in cartoon form.

Using the new service, a character called “little Zen monk” (our translation) produced by Suzhou Dayu Internet, “talked” to followers for close to an hour on May 23. The stream attracted 250,000 viewers, or between 3% to 4% of the account’s total fans. On Thursday, an animated creature known as Dooro Bear also made a live-stream debut on Kuaishou.

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Bailey Hu

Bailey Hu is based in China’s hardware capital, Shenzhen. Her interests include local maker culture, grassroots innovation and how tech shapes society, as well as vice versa.