Samsung’s new virtual assistant is named Sam and resembles a Pixar character, new promo images reveal.
Brazil-based animation studios Lightfarm shared their renders of Sam online over the weekend before hastily deleted them.
Sam will likely power Samsung’s Galaxy smartphones and smart “stuff” like home appliances, as a replacement for Bixby, which Samsung unveiled in 2017.
Sam could also power Samsung’s first commercially available smart speaker, which has been frustratingly delayed since it was first unveiled in 2018.
Digital assistants like Amazon’s Alexa and Apple’s Siri are disembodied voices that address users through devices such as phones and speakers.
From these newly leaked promo images, it looks like Samsung is trying to spark interest by personalizing the character with some creative 3D art, which could make it appealing to younger smartphone users.
Sam appears as a young woman with shoulder-length brown hair and Samsung branded clothing, dressed with a smartwatch and a Samsung Galaxy phone.
With her simple, designer clothes and a Samsung Galaxy smartphone in hand, Sam looks like a Samsung employee
Lightfarm worked with the Cheil Agency, a Samsung marketing firm, on the images, according to a now-deleted post, captured on Wayback Machine.
“Throughout the process, the team devoted themselves to developing realistic materials, mainly for the character’s hair and clothing, so that Sam looked aesthetically pleasing,” said Lightfarm.
“Sam was an incredible collaboration between the Cheil Agency and Lightfarm, and we’re excited to be a part of this project!”
Digital assistants like Amazon’s Alexa and Apple’s Siri are disembodied voices that address users through devices such as phones and speakers. From these new leaked promo images, it looks like Samsung is trying to spark interest by personalizing the character
SMART ASSISTANTS AND THEIR CREATORS
Siri – Apple
Google Assistant – Google
Alexa – Amazon
Bixby – Samsung
Cortana – Microsoft
The images, shared on Twitter, appeared to be divided – one user, @FlamingoASL, said ‘Why is she a Disney princess???’, to which @BearUNLV replied ‘Closer to a Pixar’.
@BearUNLV, who posted the images to his Twitter, also said “Bixby is done,” referring to Samsung’s current smart assistant, which apparently struggles to compete with other tech giants’ offerings.
Another Twitter user, @aloeaceae, posted one of the images with the words “All bow to my goddess Sam, Samsung’s virtual assistant.”
MailOnline has contacted Samsung for comment. The company has not yet made an official announcement about a new smart assistant.
Sam becomes a competitor to Google Assistant, the dominant smart assistant installed on Android phones.
Android – owned and operated by Google – is the operating system that powers Samsung phones, among others.
Apparently a fan, @aloeaceae, posted one of the images with the words ‘All bow to my goddess Sam the virtual assistant of Samsung’
A gallery of the promo images, showing Sam in various poses, is still available to view on the file sharing site catbox.moe
Therefore, Sam will have to provide some very special capabilities to pull Android users away from Google Assistant.
Samsung is a giant of smartphones and tablets, but its smart speaker venture had gotten off to a shaky start.
Samsung unveiled what was originally planned to enter the smart speaker market in August 2018, but the “Galaxy Home” was never released commercially.
The original design for Samsung’s first smart speaker looked more like a cauldron or a rocket and was mocked mercilessly on social media.
The original Samsung design for the Galaxy Home was mocked for its weird kettle-shaped tripod leg design
The Galaxy Home Mini (above) had a slightly less adventurous design than the Galaxy Home – but neither was available to buy
Undeterred, in the fall of 2019, Samsung unveiled a scaled-down redesign called the Galaxy Home Mini.
In February 2020, Samsung appeared to prematurely announce the availability of Galaxy Home Mini in its home market South Korea in a press release.
The release – which revealed a price tag of $83 (around £64) – was oddly removed just hours later, giving the impression that it had been accidentally posted on Samsung’s site.
As of today, neither the Galaxy Home or Galaxy Home Mini are available to purchase and Samsung has been quiet about their current release status.
Samsung launches new flagship Galaxy S21 range with three models costing up to £1,149
In January 2021, Samsung unveiled its latest range of flagship smartphones, with three models ranging in price from £769 ($799) to £1,149 ($1,199).
The S21 series from the South Korean tech giant has an entry-level model, the mid-range Plus and the Ultra – the first S-series phone compatible with Samsung’s S-Pen stylus.
The standout feature on all three devices is the improved rear camera system, which was heavily leaked before today’s announcement and features night and portrait modes and the 100x ‘space zoom’.
Patrick Chomet, executive vice president and head of Samsung’s Customer Experience Office, said: “The Galaxy S21 series is built for those who want premium mobile innovations to capture and share their world.
The screen size varies depending on the model, from 6.1 inches for the entry-level model to 6.7 inches for the Plus and 6.8 inches for the Ultra.
Read more: Samsung launches new flagship Galaxy S21 series