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.

Short video app Kuaishou makes foray into game livestreaming

Kuaishou is reportedly cooperating with other animation companies to bring more original characters to live-streaming screens. A representative of the company told TechNode that the feature will be available for users in the future, but did not specify a date of release.

Previously, the short-video platform launched an interactive feature for its users, allowing them to scan their own faces to create customized cartoon avatars. However, that feature had limitations–users could only scan their faces, and content was intended for brief, shareable clips.

Update: This article was updated on April 28 to include a response from a Kuaishou representative.

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.

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