Anima, the augmented reality company responsible for the Onlybots digital pets, today announced an evolution for its AR-based creatures.

Onlybots can now speak to their owners and each other, as a result of the company’s integration with artificial intelligence systems from OpenAI and the development of thematic personalities that change over time.

“Artificial intelligence has introduced new realness to augmented reality and brought us a step closer to digital beings feeling truly alive,” said Alex Herrity, cofounder of Anima, in a statement. “Our goal is to make these advanced technologies – augmented reality, blockchain, artificial intelligence – both accessible and fun.”

The company contends that combining cutting-edge technologies has fundamentally changed how we’ll interact with virtual characters – as they now appear in our world through AR, talk to us intelligently through AI, and live forever on the blockchain.


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In the case of Onlybots, each digital pet is also created with a unique personality that shapes its attitude and dialogue, one that changes over time and based on its owner’s actions. A closed beta period for owners of Onlybots is scheduled to begin in February, the company said.

Onlybots debuted in December 2022.

Onlybots were introduced in December of last year and continue to be released in small batches and traded frequently on secondary marketplaces. Through their existence in augmented reality, Onlybots have appeared in photos and videos in dozens of countries around the world, often seen shared on Onlybot’s Twitter account @onlydotbot.

Anima built Onlybots to make these new technologies accessible and fun, creating digital companions that connect to people in meaningful ways. Subsequently, Onlybots is also envisioned as an example for those who want to experiment with these emerging technologies using Anima’s technology.

The company’s protocol and toolset are in a private beta with a public launch planned for early 2023, providing a path to create and sell dynamic augmented reality creations that interact with the real world. Projects being built on the Anima protocol range from on-chain virtual pets to video games to immersive fine art sculptures.

Anima was founded in 2021 by cofounders Neil Voss and Herrity, known for their work building creative products with companies like Nintendo, Epic Games, HBO, Tumblr, and Flipboard. Anima disclosed a small preseed round last year from Coinbase, Flamingo, and others in tech and Web3.

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