Bixby’s been around for a few years now and while some Samsung users are probably loyal to it, it’s really not the most engaging of the virtual assistants we have around. A visual arts production house published a re-imagined virtual assistant for the OEM and named it Sam but at this point, we’re not sure if it’s just a sort of “fan art” for Samsung or if it was a project that they were working on officially but wasn’t mean for public eyes. The webpage has been deleted now but of course, nothing ever really disappears on the Internet.
According to Unbox PH, Sam was a creation of Lightfarm Studios and they published several photos and renders of the Pixal meets Anime virtual assistant. There was also a test clip of Sam actually doing some virtuaal assisting but that seems to have disappeared as well. So really it was more of the look of Sam rather than what Sam can actually do vis a vis what Bixby is doing now. She has dark brown hair, blue eyes, and is wearing pants and a shirt with the Samsung logo on it.
The post explained that Sam had an existing 2D version but they did a complete redesign for its 3D version, using a mix of Adobe and other editing software, applying them to both photos and digital paintings. They said they developed “realistic materials, mainly for the character’s hair and clothing so that Sam appeared aesthetically pleasing”. So based on the deleted page’s explanation, this was more of an aesthetic of a new virtual assistant.
But what some found interesting is that the project was a partnership between Lightfarm and Cheil Agency, the latter of which is actually owned by Samsung. And since the page was immediately deleted after, some are asking now if this is an actual project commissioned by Samsung but was not meant for public viewing. Or maybe this was a project they were working on but was eventually scrapped and Lightfarm decided to publish it anyway.
There’s also a possibility that this was just something that Lightfarm did to show Samsung what they can do. It would be interesting to see a 3D render of a virtual assistant since this may make something like Bixby a bit more “approachable” and relatable for those who are not used to interacting with technology.