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AR Emojis called from the 90’s…

Last weeks launch of the Samsung Galaxy S9 had the Samsung Paid Tech Media fawning, the rest of the media going “meh” and Apple fans snickering. As usual they did well though, looking like another good phone, great camera, etc; but it wouldn’t be Samsung if they didn’t have at least one Whiskey Tango Foxtrot feature… AR Emoji, and here it is!

AR emoji creep factor high

This isn’t Uncanny Valley as much as it’s Creepy Gorge… and YOU try to say BOOM with your mouth in that shape! Image courtesy of Chris Smith.

“AR Emoji Worked On For Years”

Yes, those words were actually uttered by DJ Koh. Stating that he’d been working on 3D avatars since 2001 for flip phones, he claimed “years of development” to a poor interviewer from The Wall Street Journal. Soon after this statement, the reporter was rushed to hospital after Kohs nose torpedoed through the poor fellows left eye. If these are the results of years of development, how do they even manage to tie their shoes in the morning let alone launch a sophisticated communication device? This level of misinformation would impress even the Irag Information Minister, yet there were pundits who somehow claimed Samsung AR Emoji were better than Apples Anamoji.

I think my favorite was by a PCWorld staffer, writer and all around Apple curmudgeon , spent a great deal of time recording videos of both systems, directly comparing them.. and somehow drew the conclusion Samsung had the edge. Check out these videos….



Ok, they managed to pull off a pretty cute lil bunny there with his big ol’ eyes and shading… but the lack of detail, disassociated ear movement, floating eyebrows, it’s clear there wasn’t a whole lot of effort. This is also probably the BEST example of the face-tracking capabilities of the Samsung approach.



Tell me with a straight bloody face that wasn’t wireframed and rendered in half a God damned hour. That looks like a project out of a 1 day 3D Basics project held in the 90’s. What the hell IS that thing? Didn’t even bother to change up the basic plastic shading of the elements there. The “eyebrows” quiver and shake like Mexican jumping beans and the entire character looks straight up stoned. Compared to our bright and expressive fox with his flowing fur and perking ears, this should embarrass the hell out of whatever poor sap was asked to rush it out the door. “Hey Dave, I know you usually run the mail around the office, but could you bang your head on the keyboard a bit and whatever comes out of this freeware 3D program, we’ll just run with it, thanks! You’re a real help around here!”



Wow, either that thing had a stroke or it’s on its 12th cup of coffee. My skin would take on an unnatural plastic sheen if I drank that much as well. The face-tracking at this point is just embarrassing. Is it just me, or does it look like this poor thing is trapped inside there, clearly given up to it’s fate of poorly mirroring Samsung users terrible music choices?



This unnatural horror is being peddled as “years of development” by the head of Samsung. I could create better-animated figures 15 years ago on my Lampshade iMac using Poser 5, and you are going to convince me this wasn’t emergency rushed out like the Note 7 battery and Galaxy S8 fingerprint sensor? Micheal seems so impressed at the examples above he gave Samsung the edge…showing great observational skills on par with People Magazine.

Samsung poking fun at the iPhone X notch seems pretty ballsy in hindsight.. proving unequivocally that to do proper and quality Facetracking you need to actually invest in the technology. That notch may seem unsightly to some, but the superpowers it houses has just stomped all over AR Emoji.allsy

Samsung, please, release that poor creature! #releasepinkkitty


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Ryszard (Rick) Gold, From Calgary, Alberta, Canada has over 20 years of experience working with Apple products in a technical capacity. Passionate about technology in general, his natural troubleshooting abilities, curiosity and appreciation of good design lead him into working exclusively with Apple Computer products.
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