HBO ‘His Dark Materials’ App Features Your Own Virtual AR Daemon That Encourages Self-Care

Todd Spangler
·2-min read

Fans of HBO’s “His Dark Materials” can now get their own personal, customized daemon — an augmented-reality creature companion at their side on Apple iOS devices and Apple Watches to encourage them to take care of themselves throughout the day.

The premium programmer launched the “His Dark Materials: My Daemon” app to promote Season 2 of the show, which premieres on HBO and HBO Max on Nov. 16.

In the fantasy world of “His Dark Materials,” based on the novels by Philip Pullman, daemons are an animal-like manifestation of one’s inner soul. The AR app features multiple possible combinations of animal type, skin, fur patterns and personality, each of which is determined after a user completes a personality test when they first launch the app.

The AR characters for “His Dark Materials: My Daemon” were created using Epic Games’ Unreal Engine 4 by Framestore, the creative studio behind the animated characters in the HBO series.

In the app, your daemon encourages you to take part in fitness activities like walking or running, as well as other kinds of self-care like taking some time for yourself, watching a movie or reaching out to a friend. The app detects everyday activity through Apple Health and Spotify, syncing with favorite fitness, sleep and meditation apps.

You can tell your daemon how you feel to receive recommendations for personalized activities. You also can play with the daemon and let it explore the world around them — and capture photos and videos of your animal pal.

In addition, the app pulls narrative elements from the show into a user’s daily life. You can follow the footsteps of “His Dark Materials'” characters like Lyra by completing a series of activities mirroring plotlines on the show, and connect with other characters including Iorek, Serafina Pekkala and Lee Scoresby.

The free “His Dark Materials: My Daemon” app is available to download for iOS devices and Apple Watch at this link. The app is available in the U.S., Canada, Norway, Denmark, Sweden and Finland. Unfortunately, there’s no version for Android.

The cast of “His Dark Materials” Season 2 includes Dafne Keen (Lyra), Amir Wilson (Lyra’s daemon Will Parry), James McAvoy (Uncle Asriel), Ruth Wilson (Mrs. Coulter), Lin-Manuel Miranda (Lee Scoresby), Andrew Scott (“Fleabag”) as Colonel John Parry, and “Fleabag” star and creator Phoebe Waller-Bridge voicing the daemon of Scott’s character.

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