Story image

How Samsung brought the AR Emoji to life

From presenting information to sharing stories online, multimedia has become the dominant tool of communication on smartphones over the past years.

But the Galaxy S9/S9+ aims to take it up a notch with an all-new variety of intelligent and personalised emojis, which means users may never want to send plain text messages again. 

AR Emoji is designed to bring unique facial expressions and add more fun to the emoji experience. 

Regular emojis add more colour to the conversation and are a fun way to communicate, Samsung says they recognised there are a lot of times when the existing set of emojis just don’t cut it. 

These lack personality, one smile looks no different from another. 

So they started looking for ways to bring out more character and personality in emojis.

Samsung states in a release, “We thought in an ideal world, you would be able to teleport yourself and share how you feel with others then and there. 

“So we wanted to come up with a way to replicate that experience but with the simplest tools possible, having seen so many people use messaging apps to communicate even with people right next to them and rely heavily on emojis rather than text.”

“The focus quickly became how to create an image of the user and deliver multiple facial expressions and emotions along with that.”

To accomplish this, Samsung decided to leverage the Galaxy S9/S9+’s camera technology. 

They thought, if users could take a selfie and transform it into a custom avatar and emoji, it would add something unique to the fun of communicating. 

In addition, Samsung says they wanted to find a way to track people’s actual expressions so that they would have at their fingertips emojis that actually felt like their own.

Samsung says, “It was also important that we give users the best tools to express themselves however they want to look.”

“The first step toward this was to use augmented reality to generate an avatar.”

“With facial recognition technology, the Galaxy S9/S9+’s camera starts by producing an initial 3D rendering, using a data-based machine learning algorithm.”

In addition to this, Blend Shape technology helps deliver a greater range of different facial expressions. 

Based on 75 basic facial expressions, Blend Shape allows Samsung to reflect a wider set of user emotions by blending multiple expressions together.

The end product of this is AR Emoji, which among other features offers a realistic or cartoon-like option for creating your own personalised My Emoji. 

These can be transformed into a set of 18 different expressions.

In my opinion, despite this being a cool (if not a bit gimmicky) addition, I can’t really see it catching on after trying it myself.

Personally, I find the AR Emoji's, unfortunately, fall into the uncanny valley, which makes them just a bit too creepy for me to use in everyday scenarios.

Kiwis losing $24.7mil to scam calls every year
The losses are almost five times higher compared to the same period last year, from reported losses alone.
Tile's Mate & Pro Bluetooth trackers land in NZ
If your car keys (or your tablet) have disappeared into the void at the back of the couch or if you left them somewhere in your car, retracing your steps to find them could be a thing of the past.
Government still stuck in the past? Not on GovTech's watch
What exactly is GovTech and what’s been happening in our capital city?
"Is this for real?" The reality of fraud against New Zealanders
Is this for real? More often than not these days it can be hard to tell, and it’s okay to be a bit suspicious, especially when it comes to fraud.
Hands-on review: The iPhone Xs
The iPhone Xs is a win that brought numerous new and exciting features to the market.
How much does your Amazon Prime Video subscription really get you?
For our NZ$8.90 per month, the average cost per title is US$0.00126 - but we only really get a choice of 416 TV shows and 4321 movies. Choice is a little bit limited compared to other countries.
Three ways to improve mental health support in the workplace
“Instead of scrambling into action after a crisis, employers need to be more proactive in supporting employees."
Kordia launches Women in Tech scholarship at the University of Waikato
The scholarship is established to acknowledge and support up-and-coming female talent and future technology leaders.