Samsung claims AR Emoji were not copied from Animoji
One of the key features of the new Samsung Galaxy S9 was the AR Emoji feature, which immediately saw similarities to Animoji. However, the head of Samsung's mobile division said it was a coincidence.
When asked by the Wall Street Journal if Samsung was inspired by the nearly identical feature in iPhone X, Donjin Koch replied that the approaches of the companies are completely different and AR Emoji has been seriously worked on for a long time.
AR Emoji on Galaxy S9
This is not the first time Samsung has been accused of copying Apple. There have already been many examples, from Apple Pay / Samsung Pay to noticeably similar round icons in Samsung smartwatches. One of the most notorious court cases in which Samsung was defeated was related to copying iPhone. Note that Apple is also often accused of copying Samsung. We are talking, in particular, about full-screen smartphones and Plus-modifications in addition to the flagship of the usual size – a trend that Apple picked up after Samsung used them.
In Koch's defense, we note that it is really unlikely that Samsung was able to fully work out AR Emoji in a few months since the announcement of Animoji. Most likely, development really began much earlier and regardless of Apple. But the time for the public announcement was almost certainly driven by the need to compete with iPhone. After all, many buyers want their Android smartphone to be able to do the same as the new one iPhone. This has repeatedly forced manufacturers to adjust to meet demand.
Besides, AR Emoji is not a complete copy. iPhone X provides users with a limited set of animal emoticons that can be animated – but not human. Samsung, by contrast, allows the user to create an animated version of their own face. Apparently, it was about this difference in approaches that Koch spoke. However, AR Emoji also lets you animate multiple Disney characters, which is more like Animoji.
Initial reviews of Samsung's new feature have been mixed so far. After testing the Galaxy S9 at the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, our colleague at The Verge described the AR Emoji as “pretty scary”.
The fact that AR Emoji is camera-tied is not surprising, as virtually all of the Galaxy S9's new features are tied in one way or another to shooting, be it images or videos. In particular, during the announcement of the flagship on Saturday, great attention was paid to the possibility of shooting in super slow-mo.
Much less has been said about other new features. This is also due to the fact that most of them will become available to all devices after the next update Android is released.