Samsung Electronics and Disney on Friday announced the availability of new Disney characters on the AR Emoji feature of the recently launched Galaxy S9 and Galaxy S9+. Starting March 16, coinciding with global availability in launch markets, users of the two flagship handsets will be able to access Mickey Mouse and Minnie Mouse - as avatars - to create customised messages directly from the AR Emoji mode in the camera app. The South Korean giant also announced that characters from other popular series such as The Incredibles, Zootopia, and Frozen will be released later this year.
"By extending our characters and stories to new digital platforms, we are creating daily Disney experiences everywhere our audience goes, and we are able to draw in new generations of fans. The Disney AR Emojis offer an innovative approach to content for the Galaxy S9 and [Galaxy] S9+ and a fun way to bring magic to messages," said John Love, Vice President, Apps at Disney Consumer Products and Interactive Media.
AR Emoji is Samsung's latest software addition to its flagship range. Considered to be a take on Apple's Animoji feature seen on the iPhone X, AR Emoji has a different approach to personalised characters: it maps facial features and creates avatars for every user. AR Emoji uses facial recognition and machine learning to map over 10 facial features and create a 3D replica.
"With more than 6 billion emojis sent daily, our goal with developing AR Emoji was to provide a fun, exciting way to communicate and a new way to bring animated images to life. We knew there was no one better to partner with than Disney - creator of some of the most beloved characters in history - to make our AR Emojis the happiest faces on earth and give our users access to the most popular characters to share with friends across platforms," said Younghee Lee, CMO and Executive Vice President of Samsung Electronics.
Apart from AR Emoji, Samsung also added new features such as a new Super Slow-mo mode and variable aperture to the image sensors on the Galaxy S9 duo.