The mobile augmented reality war for dominance between Apple and its Asia-based rivals is in full effect.
On Wednesday, Samsung continued the pattern it established with the Galaxy S10 4G smartphone by adding adding a depth-sensing camera to the new Galaxy Note 10+, which gives the device with some interesting augmented reality superpowers.
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Samsung unveiled both the Galaxy Note 10 and Galaxy Note 10+ at its customary launch event for the product line, with the Note 10 packing three rear-facing cameras (16MP ultra wide, 12MP wide-angle, and 12MP telephoto) but the Note 10+ also adds a fourth camera, a VGA sensor dubbed the DepthVision Camera, for sensing depth.
"From the very beginning, the Galaxy Note has stood for the best-of-the-best technologies and features," said Samsung CEO DJ Koh, in a statement. "The Galaxy Note10 re-imagines this promise for the modern Note fan who uses their smartphone to take their productivity and creativity to the next level, and who effortlessly flows between ideas and endeavors at a moment's notice."
Out of the box, the DepthVision camera gives the Note 10+ several unique augmented reality capabilities. First, it can act as a 3D scanner that can capture a 3D rendering of an object and turn it into an animated gif.
In addition, Samsung has incorporated its own AR measuring app called Quick Measure, similar to the Measure tool offered by Apple and Google, into the device.
Finally, Samsung has come up with a twist on AR drawing by pairing the powers of the new DepthVision Camera with its S-Pen. Along with huge screens on the company's smartphones, the S-Pen connected stylus has stood as a hallmark of the Note series from its inception.
Using a six-axis sensor, the S-Pen can be used with the AR Doodle function in the native Camera app to create drawings that track to physical space and objects.
Now, with the Google Pixel 4 adding a depth-sensing front-facing camera and Apple reportedly adding a rear-facing depth sensor to its next line of iPhones, we may truly be entering the era of the AR smartphone.