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Samsung may bring AR Emojis to video calls and it may not be a gimmick

The 3D models would provide a facial likeness while requiring less bandwidth than regular video calls.

Published onApril 24, 2018

  • Samsung has been granted a patent for a system that would replace your face with an AR Emoji-like 3D model during video calls.
  • The patent was filed in the first quarter of 2016.
  • Samsung thinks the feature could be useful in places where internet connectivity can’t support video calls.

Samsung has recently been granted a patent for a system that would replace your face with a 3D model during video calls. The concept seems similar to the Galaxy S9’s AR Emoji feature that allows users to map their faces onto animated emojis.

According to Patently Mobilethe patent was originally filed by Samsung in the first quarter of 2016 and it was granted by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office on April 17. The feature would be based on a future Samsung device that would have a 3D camera.

The feature would reportedly work by creating a 3D mesh model of the faces of the users making the call. The models would then be animated during the call using the image data from the cameras.

While it may seem like a gimmick, the patent highlights some situations where the functionality could be particularly useful.

As the emojis require a comparatively small amount of bandwidth to reproduce, they could replace live video in regions with poor internet connectivity. This would offer the user’s real-time likeness and facial expressions, but potentially without the same stutters/lag as the regular video calls.

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Although not quite as significant, AR emojis could also help address the issue of eye-contact in video calls. Front-facing Smartphone cameras are situated beside the display, so video call participants seem to look beside each other rather than at each other. AR emojis could always appear to face down the camera.

Of course, this is just a patent and it doesn’t necessarily mean that Samsung is going to release this feature. However, with the continued spreading of augmented reality technology and also the ongoing popularity of emojis, it seems fairly likely that something similar will become available at some point in the future.

And with rumors suggesting the Samsung Galaxy S10 will have a 3D-capable camera, that could be just the place to implement the functionality.

Next up: AR Emoji vs Animoji: The differences explained