Google has announced the launch of three new experimental applications, or “appsperiments” as it likes to call them, which will be photo apps available on both Android and iOS.
In a blog post revealing the new applications, Google said they will be “usable and useful mobile photography experiences built on experimental technology”. The trio follows Google’s Motion Stills application, which launched on iOS earlier this year with the ability to create cinemagraphs from video clips via the use of experimental stabilisation and rendering tech.
The new appsperiments will take advantage of object recognition, stylisation algorithms, person segmentation, and more efficient image encoding and decoding technologies.
In the last year or so, there’s been more of a shift in mobile imaging towards using software enhancements to achieve high-quality imaging effects typically assoicated with DSLR cameras, rather than relying entirely on more and more complex and expensive hardware. Google’s experimental apps appear to be a playground for this kind of stuff with a view to embedding it in next-gen phone cameras. The push also goes hand-in-hand with advancements in AI, as camera software becomes able to more intelligently recognise different subjects, objects and conditions within a scene.
Google says its new experiments are aimed at developing “radically new creative mobile photo and video applications” to take advantage of the fact that cameras will soon be able to recognise “semantic content.”
Google’s three new apps are outlined below, in the firm’s own words:
Storyboard (Android) transforms your videos into single-page comic layouts, entirely on device. Simply shoot a video and load it in Storyboard. The app automatically selects interesting video frames, lays them out, and applies one of six visual styles. Save the comic or pull down to refresh and instantly produce a new one. There are approximately 1.6 trillion different possibilities.
Selfissimo! (iOS, Android) is an automated selfie photographer that snaps a stylish black and white photo each time you pose. Tap the screen to start a photoshoot. The app encourages you to pose and captures a photo whenever you stop moving. Tap the screen to end the session and review the resulting contact sheet, saving individual images or the entire shoot.
Scrubbies (iOS) lets you easily manipulate the speed and direction of video playback to produce delightful video loops that highlight actions, capture funny faces, and replay moments. Shoot a video in the app and then remix it by scratching it like a DJ. Scrubbing with one finger plays the video. Scrubbing with two fingers captures the playback so you can save or share it.