However, for users with limited cell phone data plans, video calls aren't exactly cheap - it's no secret that transmitting video and audio over a mobile network is a bit more demanding bandwidth-wise than transferring audio alone.
Even those with unlimited data plans aren't immune to the problems video calling can sometimes bring. If their cell service provider decides the cellular network is too congested at any given time, they might throttle their connection, resulting in dropped or out-of-sync video calls.
It seems Samsung may have cooked up a solution for both groups of individuals, though. According to a recently-received patent, the phone maker was looking into essentially combining AR Emojis with standard video call functionality.
Samsung believes this feature would allow users to retain "3D depth information" about their conversation partner's face without actually seeing it.
Specifically, Samsung's patent could allow a 3D avatar to take over for you if your connection starts to slow down or desync. Samsung believes this feature would allow users to retain "3D depth information" about their conversation partner's face without actually seeing it.
Since Samsung applied for this patent in 2013, it doesn't explicitly state that AR Emojis would be used here.
Rather, Samsung says their technology would receive data from an array of sensors during a video call, allowing it to update an on-screen 3D "mesh model" of a person's face with their actual expression and possibly even their emotional state.
To be clear, there's absolutely no guarantee Samsung will make this technology a reality. Merely filing for and receiving a patent is no indication that a company intends to use it. Indeed, in some instances, patents are simply a way for companies to prevent their competitors from swiping and using their ideas.