Images of an unused Samsung virtual assistant design leaked online over the weekend, and it got people on social media talking.
Named Samantha Samsung, or Sam for short, the Pixar-like character is said to be created by design firm Lightfarm Studios in partnership with Cheil, a marketing company owned by Samsung. The images show her holding a Samsung phone and sporting a dark shirt with the “Samsung Galaxy” logo printed on the side.
The design, however, was reportedly rejected by Samsung and has yet to be used on any of its marketing materials. It’s not known whether the images are representative of the final design or concepts that are still being worked on.
It’s also unclear whether Sam was meant to serve as a mascot of sorts for Samsung’s future campaigns or replace Bixby as the brand’s new AI virtual assistant, as speculated by some people online. If the latter is true, Samsung may have been on to something by giving its virtual assistant a three-dimensional human figure. Almost, if not all, devices today come with a virtual assistant integrated into them. But those virtual assistants have never had a visual representation, being disembodied voices that communicate to users through a device’s speakers.
The reception to Bixby, which debuted in 2017, has been, for the most part, divisive. It paled in comparison to the likes of Apple’s Siri, Amazon’s Alexa and Google’s Google Assistant in terms of functionality. It also didn’t help that Samsung users felt that the company was, in a way, forcing Bixby on them by including a dedicated button for it on Galaxy phones. So if the brand ever plans to launch Sam as a new virtual assistant, it may be the shot in the arm that gets its users to give the feature a second look.
The leaks of Sam’s design have already received much fanfare since it first surfaced online, with many users taking to social media to comment on how “attractive” the character looks.
“Throughout the process, the team devoted itself to developing realistic materials, mainly for the character’s hair and clothing, so that Sam appeared aesthetically pleasing,” Lightfarm Studios wrote in a now-deleted post on their website, which also contained the images that leaked online.
Some users were even quick to create memes and fan art to express their appreciation of Sam’s design. And this being the internet, a quick Google search of the character might lead to some not safe for work content, which, of course, won’t be featured here.
As of this article’s publication, it remains to be seen what might come of the design as Samsung doesn’t appear to have any plans of launching a new virtual assistant. Those wishing to see Sam in their Samsung devices soon, as of right now, can only hope.
Written by Kyle Chua