Samsung and Disney partnered to bring Mickey and Minnie Mouse to AR Emoji in time for the global release of the Galaxy S9 lineup, the two companies announced Friday. Two of Disney's most iconic characters are now available for download on the Galaxy S9 and Galaxy S9 Plus in the form of a mask pack for the AR Emoji service, allowing users to animate their faces to record unique images and videos. The pack can be downloaded from the Galaxy Apps store where you can manually search for "Mickey Mouse," though Samsung is also promoting it within the AR Emoji functionality of its default Camera app; simply navigate to the said mode, tap the plus icon in the bottom right corner of the user interface, and the new Disney pack of AR masks should be the first result on the carousel that pops up, as seen in the screenshot below.
Samsung claims the development marks the first occasion on which classic Disney characters are brought to life in the context of mobile augmented reality, adding that Mickey and Minnie Mouse are just the first in a long series of additions it's planning to bring to AR Emoji in partnership with Disney. Characters from Frozen, Zootopia, The Incredibles, and other popular Disney movies will be rolling out to owners of the Galaxy S9 and Galaxy S9 Plus over the course of this year, the company revealed. Samsung EVP and CMO Younghee Lee said the firm's internal estimates show people are sending six billion emoji on a daily basis, pointing to that figure as one of the primary reasons why the tech giant is advertising AR Emoji as one of the main selling points of its latest Android flagships and suggesting more partnerships similar to the Disney collaboration may follow soon.
No financial details of the deal have been disclosed by either party and it's presently unclear whether Disney's AR Emoji will only be available for download for a limited time or whether the license Samsung acquired from the company is meant to run for the lifetime of the Galaxy S9 series. The functionality itself is powered by the technology developed by Loom.ai, a San Francisco-based startup established by veterans of DreamWorks and LucasFilm, including Kiran Bhat, the Academy Award winner for Technical Achievement on 2016 blockbuster Rogue One: A Star Wars Story.