Bringing AR Emoji to life

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New Delhi | Published: July 16, 2018 3:19:01 AM

Samsung’s new AR emojis add the X factor to Galaxy S9/S9+. In order to deliver this unique experience, Samsung is leveraging on the Galaxy S9/S9+'s camera technology.

The smartphone today is not just a piece of gadget or device but an extension of your personality.

The smartphone today is not just a piece of gadget or device but an extension of your personality. It would not be wrong to say that your smartphone defines you. No wonder, manufacturers are spending billions of dollars every year to personalise your smartphones—right from experimenting with new colours to exotic features like augmented reality. To many, these new features might sound incremental, but they combine to add the ‘X’ factor swaying the buyer’s decision.

If you have Galaxy S9/S9+, you can add a lot of extra spice and colour to your conversations with these AR Emojis. Regular emojis do add colour to the conversation and are a fun way to communicate, but there are a lot of times when the existing set of emojis just don’t deliver personalised experiences and lack on the personality front—one smile looks no different from another. And that’s why Samsung started looking for ways to bring out more character and personality in emojis.

How about an emoji where you would be able to teleport yourself and share how you feel with others then and there? This is exactly what Samsung has done with Galaxy S9 and S9+, replicating that experience but with the simplest tools possible. Emojis with Samsung Galaxy S9 and S9+ create an image of the user and deliver multiple facial expressions and emotions along with that.

In order to deliver this unique experience, Samsung is leveraging on the Galaxy S9/S9+’s camera technology. With this device users can simply take a selfie and transform it into a custom avatar and emoji, it adds something unique to the fun of communicating.

How Samsung powers AR emoji
The first step towards AR emoji was to use augmented reality to generate an avatar. With facial recognition technology, Galaxy S9/S9+’s camera starts by producing an initial 3D rendering, using a data-based machine learning algorithm. Next, the camera analyses the 2D image of the user and pulls information from its deep learning database to create the user’s facial features on the final 3D AR emoji. To bring people’s unique expressions to life, Samsung includes Face Tracking technology, which tracks over 100 facial features and allows the device to capture individual emotions on the spot.

In addition to this, Blend Shape technology helps deliver an even greater range of different facial expressions. Based on 75 basic facial expressions, Blend Shape allows the smartphone to reflect a wider set of user emotions by blending multiple expressions together. This is also the technology that has made our Disney emoji offerings possible.

Another major step that Samsung has taken was to go through numerous sampling tests. From its labs, the company has conducted at least 100 tests on a weekly basis to make sure the new features included enough data to appeal to users regardless of their tastes.

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

The future of AR Emoji
AR emojis can be transformed into a set of 18 different expressions—and as per Samsung’s plans, it will gradually expand to 54—which were created as universal visual representations of human emotions like joy, anger, sorrow and pleasure.

The idea is to offer emojis that would be able to deliver the same emotions across the world. Samsung carried out a lot of research to understand how certain emotions are categorised and expressed on a fundamental level. In addition to the variety of emotions, AR emoji also comes with a lot of versatility, allowing you to create the 3D avatars, either as a GIF, video or PNG file.

In March, Disney characters—Mickey Mouse and Minnie Mouse—were added. In April, Donald Duck was added. In May, these characters were joined by all five members of Pixar’s beloved Super family, the Incredibles, and their friend, Frozone. Galaxy S9 and S9+ users can now personalise their messages with AR avatars of Mr. Incredible, Elastigirl, Violet, Dash and Jack-Jack, as well as fellow Super Frozone.

Zia Askari writes on communications, technology and gadgets at TelecomDrive.com

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