Samsung Electronics is showcasing an AI assistant this coming Sunday at SXSW 2018 Trade Show, and surprisingly, we are not talking about Bixby here. The South Korean tech giant is unveiling a visualized 3D character assistant at the event as part of the new technologies its C-Lab (Creative Lab) program is currently working on. 

The Galaxy S9 maker recently took to its online newsroom to announce that three new innovative projects from C-Lab will be showcased at SXSW 2018 from Sunday, March 11, through Wednesday, March 14. The company has disclosed that it will be exhibiting the new AI technologies at Stand #1538 in Exhibit Hall 3 of the Austin Convention Center in Austin, Texas. 

One of the C-Lab creations that will be present at Samsung’s booth is Aurora, a smartphone app and deck that features a visualized 3D character assistant. Because the assistant has a visualization, the dialogue between the user and the technology is enhanced and it makes the user feel as though he or she is talking to someone.

“While existing voice assistants provide the information only with voice, Aurora gives intuitive user experience by giving information visually onto the display of the device,” Samsung explained. “Aurora also recognizes gestures and the location of the user through the camera of the smartphone, allowing for a more intuitive interface.”

To set up Aurora’s 3D character assistant, the user needs to slide  a phone into the deck. Once the app is launched, Aurora’s cutesy hologram appears in the middle of the deck, providing the visual representation of the new AI assistant. It’s worth noting that unlike other digital assistants that serve the function of being a secretary or a controller, Aurora is more of a helpful friend and confidant, as per Slash Gear

Aside from Aurora, Samsung is also showcasing two other C-Lab projects at SXSW 2018. One is called Toonsquare and the other is named Gadget. Toonsquare is an AI application that converts a sentence into a cartoon. It is nothing like AR Emoji, for it simply allows users to choose from pre-set characters then lets the system analyze a text or sentence so it could suggest the perfect facial expression and movements of the selected character in relation to the text. Toonsquare offers a lot of customizations, from backgrounds to fonts and even to speech bubbles. 

Gadget, on the other hand, is a real-time ad auction platform for in-game ads. This is actually a very useful invention for mobile gamers. What this does is blend in-game ads into the game, so they won’t be as irritating as before. Most games have pop-up ads or interstitial ads that disrupt the user experience. What Gadget does is transform these ads into native objects in the game. For instance, they could show up in mobile games as billboards in the background.