In the Samsung Galaxy S9 and S9+, the camera isn’t just for taking photos anymore. While these smartphones certainly include a set of highly advanced photography tools, they are also home to augmented reality (AR) features that allow users to experience the world through a whole new lens.
Bixby AR turns the camera viewfinder into an intelligent assistant. For instance, when a physical location like a hotel is within the frame, Bixby can show you nearby places you can visit. Bixby also provides information related to shopping, nutrition and foreign language translation (more on this last one in a moment).
When users turn the front-facing camera back on themselves, they’ll find several features that transform the selfie into something entirely different. These tools open up new possibilities for creative expression, empowering you to connect with friends and loved ones on a whole new level.
1. Personalized AR emojis
The Samsung Galaxy S9 and S9+ allows you to quickly create an entire library of animated emojis that look just like you.
When you take a photo of yourself using the AR Emoji tool, the camera will automatically create a 3D animated avatar based on your facial features. You can then customize your new avatar with various clothes, accessories and hairstyles. When you’re done, you’ll have a set of 18 personalized, animated GIFs to send to your friends, covering emotions ranging from joy and sadness to laughter and love.
“...My favorite thing involving the selfie camera is the new AR Emoji,” says Mashable. “It’s ... strangely a lot of fun.”
2. AR mask filters
The Galaxy S9 and S9+’s capacity for expressive communication is not limited to the 18 pre-set animated GIFs mentioned a moment ago. Through the devices’ AR mask filters, you can use your own voice and facial expressions to create an infinite variety of creative video messages.
Depending on what you’re looking for, you can use a mask filter to dress yourself up as an animal or even the animated emoji version of yourself. With the filter superimposed over your face, you can amuse your friends by making your new avatar talk and move however you like.
3. Bixby Translate
One of the most impressive features of Bixby is its ability to translate foreign language text in the real world, a particularly useful feature for those who take their phones with them when traveling abroad.
By framing the text you want to read inside the camera viewfinder, you can use Bixby Translate to translate street signs, menu items and foreign language literature, among other items. Bixby is compatible with 54 different languages.
“Bixby can actually overlay the translated text on top of the image being viewed to make the new text seamlessly blend in with whatever you’re looking at,” Time writes. “…this worked instantly when translating a sign from English to Armenian.”