Samsung Electronics revealed the latest iteration of its smartphones yesterday with the Galaxy S9 and S9+, highlighting new and updated apps designed solely with social media in mind.
The new features include an enhanced voice-activated personal assistant, further highlighting the need to optimize your web content's SEO for voice search, as well as some advanced visual features that leverage augmented reality.
Ahead of the Galaxy S9's official release on March 16, here are three features the company previewed that communicators should know about.
Samsung’s augmented reality (AR) emojis let users create a cartoon version of themselves that can be posted and shared endlessly across social platforms, emulating and improving upon the facial-recognition AR feature introduced by Apple for its iPhone X, Snapchat's 3D Bitmojis and Facebook's Virtual Reality avatars on its "Spaces" program.
Though it doesn't use the device's front-facing camera to capture the movements of a user's head and face like Apple's "animojis," AR Emoji promises to be more realistic than its competitor by producing a cartoon version of the user's face. Those caricatures, which are rendered using uploaded selfies, have been criticized by members of the media who have had a chance to try the feature as "not abstract enough to be cute, yet not realistic enough to be authentic."
Nonetheless, there's plenty of time for Samsung to tweak its software and optimize it for social sharing. It also has an edge due to the fact that competitive technology doesn't render humanoid interpretations of its user—a feature that could help Samsung as it vies for a greater share of the emerging AR-savvy user base.
The Slowest Slow-Mo Ever, Demoed by Content Creators
Slow-motion video is nothing new on smart phones but the feature has seldom been used beyond the realm of novelty. Samsung hopes to change that with the Galaxy S9's new super slow-mo feature, which can capture video at 960 frames-per-second, slow enough to capture a bursting bubble in detail. Its action-detection capability can also activate the feature automatically, which comes in handy when you need to capture something but just can't react quickly enough.
Samsung has also leveraged some new social relationships to promote this feature, recruiting YouTube channel creators The Slow Mo Guys to demo how it works, Moreover, BuzzFeed and The Dodo will soon debut slow motion content made exclusively with the S9's technology.
A Beefed-Up Bixby
Samsung unveiled its artificial intelligence-driven personal assistant, "Bixby," with last year's Galaxy S8 launch. But Bixby grows more powerful in the S9 with new features that can help users access the information they need even quicker.
Bixby has improved the S9 camera's capability to scan the world around you. It can help translate a foreign street sign to help you find your way with its "Live Camera" function, or scan a menu item to assist in calorie counting. While the Google Pixel phones have a similar capability, Samsung's finally catching up and realizing its camera's potential to capture and process data for users on the go.
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