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Samsung patent suggests video chatting with AR Emoji

Samsung patent suggests video chatting with AR Emoji

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AR emoji galaxy s9
Photo by Sam Byford / The Verge

When Samsung rolled out its creepy AR Emoji, many assumed it was just the company’s answer to Apple’s Animoji. But Samsung was granted a patent last week that could indicate a whole other reason it rolled out the AR Emoji: to combat bandwidth issues with live video.

Back in 2013, Samsung foresaw that there would continue to be bandwidth issues with live video in the near future, and applied for a patent that would let users video chat with each other using 3D models of their faces, as spotted by PatentlyMobile.

The patent states, “Existing video communication systems typically require high bandwidth and are inherently high latency as entire image sequences need to be generated and compressed before transmitting the signal to the another device.” It also states that people usually can’t make eye contact while video chatting because the camera isn’t mounted directly in a screen.

It adds, “A need exists for a visual communication system capable of displaying the user’s actual likeness, facial expressions, and motion in real time, while reducing bandwidth.” Currently, AR Emoji help you create an avatar based on a photo of yourself, which you can then send as images and GIFs, but it can’t be used to video chat. If this patent is used to apply to AR Emoji, people could be looking at avatars through video chat instead of at each other directly.