Meet Kami: World's first virtual influencer with Down syndrome

·1-min read

Meet Kami - the world’s first virtual influencer with Down syndrome.

The cool young social media user – who has a bright smile and long, purple hair - has been created as a response to "perfect" internet personas and the lack of high-profile people with disabilities.

Kami is the brainchild of Down Syndrome International (DSi), which teamed up with creative agency Forsman & Bodenfors (F&B) and global digital modelling agency The Diigitals.

The three companies wanted to give people with disabilities someone to relate to since they said almost all influencers look "curated, filtered, and pixel perfect". Kami, short for the name Kamilah, means perfection in Arabic, and that is how they want the world to see her.

The group explained: "Despite being a more connected society, the digital world is yet to fully embrace diversity. Avatars that allow us to choose an 'ideal' face and body lead to the heavy underrepresentation and the reduced visibility of people with disabilities."

For Kami to be a truly authentic representation of real women with Down syndrome, a panel of over 100 young women volunteers with Down syndrome across the DSi global network were consulted to collaborate on her creation as a virtual model - acting as the faces, physiques, gestures, voices, and personalities that Kami will embody.

"The digital world isn't an inclusive space. Everyone looks curated, filtered, pixel perfect - but change is coming," an introduction video shared to her Instagram account reads.

With a prototype in place, the final phase of creating Kami was the intricate process of creating her human features in 3D form, from microfibre brows to eyelashes and real-life skin textures. From here, Kami becomes a 3D avatar that can take on many different forms and be imported into different platforms.

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