Did Samsung get the AR Emoji idea from Apple?

On February 25 in Barcelona, Samsung announced it's newest flagships – the Galaxy S9 and S9+. We found out that this year's improvements in the Galaxy series will be mainly in the camera, adding variable aperture on both models, while the S9+ also runs a dual-camera setup.

We will also get another interesting feature in the face of AR Emoji, which will create a virtual avatar after scanning you for a couple of seconds so using the front-facing camera. However, the new addition was almost immediately deemed a copy of rival Apple's Animoji feature. Did Samsung indeed steal the idea from its biggest opponent on the smartphone market? The short answer is no.

The long answer, however, is a bit more interesting. Samsung Mobile president DJ Koh said AR Emoji is a feature his company has been working on implementing for years, and is definitely not a copycat of Apple's Animoji. “Their [Apple's] approach and my approach is totally different. [...] I do work seriously based off my own roadmap”, Mr. Koh said in an interview at MWC 2018. He also mentioned that developing 3D human-like avatars is not a one day task and he had set sights on the feature since as early as 2001, while he lead Samsung's mobile research and development team in the UK.

Comparing the two avatar-based features, Samsung's AR Emoji is quite different from Apple's Animoji. AR Emoji creates a digital avatar by scanning your face using the front-facing camera, which you can then use in a set of GIF stickers or record a video. You can then send out the created media using any messaging app, like Facebook Messenger or WhatsApp, which the receiver can see regardless of their device. Oh, and also, if you don't like your looks, you can become a unicorn or Mickey Mouse in just a swipe and use that avatar instead.

On the other hand, Apple's Animoji offer you a set of 3D emojis, for example a dragon, a bear, and more, which mimic your facial expressions and use your voice if you decide to say something. You can record videos using the feature and you can share your expressions as a pile-of-poo everywhere you wish.

Samsung might have the upper hand in terms of the flexibility of its AR Emoji, but Apple may be winning the technology aspect, as its Animoji is more accurate due to the TrueDepth sensor.

Overall, 3D avatars might be the next big thing, as it seems more and more companies have started implementing features to allow the creation of a digital alter-ego. Asus has to be the most recent company to embrace the 3D avatars. The Taiwanese company will include Zenimoji in its ZenFone 5 (2018), which was announced at MWC 2018. The Zenimoji will work like the Animoji, but will also let you livestream the experience. 

source: WSJ



1. Rager722 unregistered

Obviously.. this is just an even crappier gimmick than animoji, which is also a crappy gimmick..

16. sgodsell

Posts: 7451; Member since: Mar 16, 2013

First of all Apple is really crappy. Especially when Apples only gives you 10 seconds of recording, therefore making Apples a gimmick. At least with Samsungs, it's time is almost unlimited in comparison. Plus Apples animoji only has a few characters to choose from. Samsung's has an literally endless because you can even create you own, and customize them. None of that is available for Apples animoji. Plus you can use Samsung's AR emojis in many different apps, including camera apps. Things you cannot do with Apples animojis. So if what you are saying is they are both gimmicks, then Apples implication is even more of a gimmick, because it's almost useless.

32. Rager722 unregistered

Do you not read?

18. Phullofphil

Posts: 1822; Member since: Feb 10, 2009

Samsung does what ever it can to make what they think people wanted. That includes copying Apple from the beginning. Apple does not really copy as much. They do what they want to do and like it or not that’s what there doing.

2. DeusExCellula

Posts: 1390; Member since: Oct 05, 2014

Dont care about either one. Both are gimmicks that will be most used by children...

12. bucknassty

Posts: 1353; Member since: Mar 24, 2017

ive seen it on snapchate for awhile

3. kartik.07

Posts: 73; Member since: May 04, 2015

Everyone knew it was going to happen eventually and every company copies each other so who cares if we the consumer get more and more features for our money.

6. fyah_king unregistered

Did Apple get the plus name from Samsung s2 plus?

7. TheOracle1

Posts: 2340; Member since: May 04, 2015

Everyone copies Apple. The world as we know it didn't exist until Apple invented oxygen.

10. YeahYeah

Posts: 250; Member since: Mar 16, 2016

........ no they did not..

11. strbckboy

Posts: 20; Member since: Jul 13, 2016

While it's clear that they were inspired by what Apple did with animoji, this also appears to be an answer to what Snapchat is doing with the Bitmoji AR stuff.

13. audibot

Posts: 649; Member since: Jan 26, 2017

apple took it from snapchat and the name from an app on itunes and made it better then samsung took that idea and made it better by making you the animoji

15. legiloca

Posts: 1676; Member since: Nov 11, 2014

In other Samsung related news, The S9 Plus scored 99 in DxOMark! and yes, I pre-ordered one :) finally jumping in the Samsung hype train!

21. DolmioMan

Posts: 335; Member since: Jan 08, 2018

Ha. You fool.

30. legiloca

Posts: 1676; Member since: Nov 11, 2014

ha. jealous much.

37. ChicagoBorn

Posts: 101; Member since: Jan 24, 2018

Did you look at the break down of the DXoMark

19. darkkjedii

Posts: 31313; Member since: Feb 05, 2011

Of course they did, but they also took the next logical steps. Actually AR Emoji will be quite a bit better, cause it records longer, and let's you personalize it more.

34. sissy246

Posts: 7124; Member since: Mar 04, 2015

It's not my thing but I do agree. Samsungs ArEmojis do need some work from what I have seen. Maybe with some update they will get better

41. darkkjedii

Posts: 31313; Member since: Feb 05, 2011

It'll have a big or two at launch, but a few updates will do it.

22. Trex95

Posts: 2383; Member since: Mar 03, 2013

Who copy who it’s not big of deal anymore Samsung copied Apple nothing new people will still prefer iPhone and galaxy for a reasons brand name, durability, performance, resale value and most important part services and phone repair that Apple and Samsung offreded easily even though parts a bit expensive, but still affordable unlik Chinese OEM’s.

24. darkkjedii

Posts: 31313; Member since: Feb 05, 2011

True words Trex.

25. Trex95

Posts: 2383; Member since: Mar 03, 2013

Thanks bro.

35. sissy246

Posts: 7124; Member since: Mar 04, 2015

I hope they both keep coping each other so we all get more and more.

26. theot14430 unregistered

Of course they did.

29. bugsbunny00

Posts: 2265; Member since: Jun 07, 2013

Obviously a big yes..Sammy got this from apple,true true. If apple wouldn't done it we wouldn't see Sammy's ,...

40. tokuzumi

Posts: 1929; Member since: Aug 27, 2009

IMO, both Samsung and Apple were working on the AR emojis at the same time. Apple just got to market first. Something like this is going to take months to develop. These emojis aren't going to be some 3 week project and you are good to go. Now maybe Samsung was going in one direction, and saw Apple's implementation and changed their design (much like Android when the first iPhone came out). But it's not like these emojis weren't going to come to Android anyway.

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