They say dance is a universal language. With the advent of apps that have allowed us to collaborate and share digitally, and in the midst of a pandemic that has forced us to find alternative ways to connect, you can argue that now is the perfect time to use dance and technology to feel closer, even if physically, we are far apart.
Enter Memik, an app that uses music, dance and technology to double down on the popularity of viral dance videos that have permeated the web in recent years. Simply stated, Memik adds an Augmented Reality (AR) dancer with whom you can “mimic” (see what they did there?) its dance moves, or upload your own dance moves for your dancer to copy in order to create the next viral dance video.
The app experience is pretty simple to navigate. Users pick from a selection of songs and dance routines. The next step consists of choosing a dancer that will perform the routine. Once selected, Memik uses your phone’s camera and integrated AR compatibilities to project your dancer in the field of view. Hit record, and participants can perform alongside the AR dancer to create a unique dance video that can be viewed in the gallery and shared to social media.
If you want to cook up something more unique, the premium feature unlocks the ability for users to record and upload their own dance routine. Memik then uses Artificial Intelligence (AI) to learn the routine and add it to the selection of dance routines. Once added, users can go through the same song and character selection process, but with the added bonus of selecting their custom dance routine.
From there, AR adds the dancer to the live dance “crew” where they all can perform the routine. Unlike other apps that depend solely on live users, Memik adds that tech element to create a truly unique experience.
For this review, my kids were “voluntold” to participate in Memik testing. I downloaded the Memik app on my oldest daughter’s iPhone 8. Visit Apple’s Augmented Reality page for a list of AR-compatible devices. The app came loaded with several dance-worthy, holiday-themed songs, and a handful of characters with their own look and style. I’m assuming more songs and characters (and character customizations) will be added in future updates.
Within a couple of taps, and a couple minutes of practice, my 12 year-old daughter was ready to do her routine. Tapping the Memik button at the bottom of the screen opened her phone’s camera and allowed her to place her AR dancer in the field of the view. Tip: The area where you want to place any AR figure should be a relatively flat surface that is free of a bunch of stuff and adequately lit.
Once placed, she had to pinch and zoom to resize her dancer to a more realistic height. Hitting record let her dance with her partner to complete the routine. The dance routines last about 20 seconds. Which is long enough to perform a decent dance routine.
After she tried out a couple of songs and routines, we passed the reins over to my 10-year old daughter who was waiting in the wings practicing her own routine. We switched over to my phone (we don’t let our kids create 3rd-Party app accounts yet), and created an account. For this review, I was provided several credits by the developer to test out Memik’s AI capabilities.
After a couple of minutes, we got notification that her routine was ready. Sure enough, in the ‘Choose your Routine’ section, we could select her dance. We used the same song during recording her routine, and selected a dancer.
We went through the same process to place the dancer in the field of view and with my oldest as a 3rd dancer, and we successfully recorded their routine. From there, they can view their recorded dances in the Gallery, and also share dances to friends, family and social media.
Future feature requests would be the ability to quickly mute the selected song in-app, and the ability to change character clothing and hair/facial features, etc.
My initial impression is the Memik app provides a hip and trendy way for tweens and teens to safely collaborate and share trendy dances, while exposing them to Augmented Reality and Artificial Intelligence. Speaking of trends, to get kids hype about the app, the folks behind it are putting on a #MemikChallenge (of course), that encourages users to record and share their own custom routines for a chance to win a highly-coveted PS5.
According to Instagram, it looks like Memik has caught the eye of Shaq-Diesel himself who shared a post of fellow former NBA player Dennis Scott jumping in on the #MemikChallenge