April 15, 2024

Samsung is giving a surprise camera boost to Galaxy users

This story was updated on January 11. Update below.

Samsung is dropping not-so-subtle hints about the upcoming Galaxy S24. Last year, we saw a preview of how AI will be implemented on the device along with some new battery tools. Now, Samsung has alluded to the phone by announcing a new camera feature for Galaxy phones.

During his presentation at CES 2024, Jonathan Gabrio, director of Samsung’s connected experiences center, briefly talked about a new feature for the Galaxy Book 4 laptop, which will allow Galaxy phone owners to use their phone as a webcam for video calls.

Gabrio mentioned using the feature in Microsoft Teams and then nonchalantly said “all available on our next flagship smartphone,” a clear nod towards the Galaxy S24.

This is a cool feature because it solves a major problem with laptop cameras: they’re mostly bad. They’re often an afterthought for manufacturers who (rightly) focus on more important areas when it comes to laptop design. I don’t know if this is a tacit admission that the new Galaxy Book 4’s webcam isn’t up to par, but use your smartphone’s selfie or rear cameras, which receive much more care and attention from the I teams. +D, willpower transforms the quality of video calls.

As Samsung explains, this also makes your webcam portable, meaning you can change the camera position or get up and walk around without leaving the frame or moving the computer. This is enhanced by an AI-powered auto-framing feature that keeps you in the photo and a background blur option that darkens your surroundings.

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This all happens through the Link To Windows app on your PC. The feature appears to be limited to the Galaxy Book 4 laptop, at least for now, but interestingly Samsung says that any Galaxy phone running One UI 1.0 and above can be used as a webcam. So despite the quiet nod to the Galaxy S24, your older Samsung phone should work too.

special relationship

The current version of the Link To Windows app is quite simple. Users can open apps on an on-screen virtual phone, make calls, view images, and access their messages. Adding webcam functionality would be a major update to the service, but Samsung isn’t the first to do so.

Repurposing old smartphones to use as webcams, or even car dashboard cameras, has been a hobby of hobbyists for a while through apps like DroidCam and Camo. Google also added webcam support for Pixel phones in a recent Android update.

Adding the functionality directly to an already popular app should make it easier to use. But Samsung seems to be aiming for deeper integration between its phone and PC. The company says the Galaxy Book 4 will connect with Microsoft’s AI chatbot, Copilot, to automate some activities, such as reading your messages and sending responses “on your behalf” from your PC.

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“These capabilities mean you can let Copilot track restaurant recommendations your friends have made in previous messages, search for visitor reviews in your browser, and then message your partner to ask if they want to go to dinner that night, all directly from your PERSONAL COMPUTER. Without having to turn on your phone and open each app, the Galaxy Book4 series lets you access smartphone features and information faster and smarter.”

Here’s a look at how Samsung is thinking about using AI in its future devices, removing some of the rigmarole around everyday actions. It remains to be seen how well all this works. Will a chatbot on your Galaxy Book 4 really search through old chats for restaurant recommendations, check their quality, and then arrange a date with a single message? It sounds idealistic. But if your smartphone and PC can really do this, then it will be an important first step in solving Samsung’s overly complicated software problem.

Update January 11: If there was any doubt that Samsung has opted for AI, the company’s latest announcement will clarify it. Samsung is opening “Galaxy Experience Spaces” in major cities around the world to showcase its artificial intelligence technology. The press releases have a bit of substance, but interestingly the AI ​​displayed will change based on location.

“In each region, visitors will experience different twists on what Galaxy has to offer. “Fan favorites like Nightography and next-level games will captivate visitors, inspiring new ways to be creative and play with cutting-edge technology,” the statement reads. The nod to night photography and gaming is interesting, but we can’t deduce much about the S24’s capabilities from that alone. He shows that Samusng will use AI to clean up images, perhaps like Google’s Pixel 8 does right now, and that there may be some AI-enhanced gaming performance features. We’ll know more in about a week.

Samsung will also be entering into a drawing for a “special prize” for visitors, which I’m willing to guess will be the Galaxy S24 or something else powered by AI. Gift vouchers will also be distributed. The stores will be open for about a month in nine major cities, with the US pop-up store opening in New York on January 17.

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