All posts by Hans Hartman

Hans Hartman is president of Suite 48 Analytics, the leading research and analysis firm for the mobile photography market and organizer of Mobile Photo Connect, a yearly industry conference about mobile photography.
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Going Deep – the race for depth imaging smartphones is on

Our smartphones will soon be depth imaging devices, featuring cameras that measure depth information for each part of the image.  Lenovo already came out with the Google Tango-based Phab 2 phone last year and with the upcoming release of the iPhone 8 we’ll finally find out why Apple paid $350M to acquire the Israeli company PrimeSense back in 2013 (PrimeSense originally provided the technology behind the Microsoft Kinect game accessory). The market for depth imaging and sensing devices is booming, according to the recently released Smartphone Depth Sensing report from Woodside Capital Partners and Yole Développement. With a CAGR of 37.7%…

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Photo storage 4.0 – it’s deduplication, stupid!

In the first part of this two installment piece, we reported on the following findings from our latest survey among 458 North American smartphone photographers: The median number of photos that consumers believe they take per month is remarkably similar to what it was 1.5 years ago – it is neither plummeting nor ballooning. Smartphone photography has matured. Even with ephemeral visual communication rapidly gaining popularity, most respondents still believe that most of their photos are long life photos (“keepers”) Most consumers hoard their photos on their…

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Reality check: taking, keeping, storing smartphone photos

Only three months to go until our fifth edition of Mobile Photo Connect, so it’s the perfect time for a reality check! Not a week goes by without some industry observer, tech writer or photo vendor uttering the phrase “more than ever before” in relation to how/when/why/where consumers take, store or share photos with their smartphones. But are smartphone photos really still as “hot” as we keep hearing? Or is this an instance of groupthink? In November 2015, we conducted our The photos at your fingertips study, which included…

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WWDC takeaways: lots of great news for photo app developers, but one major puzzler

The photo app developers I spoke with are overwhelmingly excited about a range of WWDC announcements, even though one of these dumbfounded several developers. We’ll get into that one later; let’s start with the four most exciting announcements. ARKit: making mixed reality easier to create and more realistic to view Apple’s OS 11 developer ARKit enables developers to build mixed reality apps that interpret the imagery from the user’s iPhone camera by identifying surfaces, tracking motion, estimating scale as well as ambient lighting, and by providing fast and…

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Move over Snap: Facebook is the camera company to beat

It’s the platform, stupid Just as the world finally figured out why Snap relabeled itself as a camera company, last week Facebook proclaimed it’s not just a camera company, it’s a camera company built on the world’s ambitious augmented reality platform. Let’s add some perspectives to their F8 announcements: Recently, Facebook has put its camera front and center in its various properties (not just Instagram, but also Facebook, Messenger, and WhatsApp). For instance, in Messenger, this changed the traditional texting workflow, which normally starts with…

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The unstoppable rise of Stories

Pictures may be worth a thousand words, but visual stories must be worth more by some mega-factor, judging by the success of Snapchat’s Stories feature and Instagram’s copycatted Stories equivalent, as well as the relentless pace and determination with which Facebook is rolling out “Stories” in all its properties (Facebook Stories, Instagram Stories, WhatsApp Status, and its recently announced Messenger Day). So what are Stories? Stories are akin to slideshows, consisting of video clips, photos, text, animations, or various graphics, which can be shared with selected…

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The five most interesting product launches at Mobile World Congress (Barcelona) and Business Forum Imaging (Cologne)

Nostalgia, minimalistic product design, and a new approach for connecting DSLRs to the cloud Mobile World Congress Nokia 3310 – As discussed previously, today’s infatuation with instant printing reflects consumers’ desires – not just for instant and more personal ways to share their photos, but also for nostalgic retro products. At Mobile World Congress, Nokia (actually HMD Global, the company licensing the Nokia brand) announced the Nokia 3310, a modern variation of the iconic Nokia feature phone. Light – While the Nokia announcement got all the attention, a startup called Light (not to be…

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From Artificial Intelligence to Intelligent Imaging

Last year at Mobile World Congress I expected the buzz to be about smartphone innovations. Instead, what most people talked about was IoT, the Internet of Things. My highlight was brushing my teeth with the Oral-B Genius smart toothbrush at one of several sinks lined up in the company’s booth. The idea was: you plop your smartphone onto the mirror with a provided suction cup and the toothbrush’s position detection technology uses your smartphone’s camera as well as the brush’s motion sensors to track how…

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What Snapchat, GoPro and Giroptic have in common

At CES a few weeks ago, GoPro CEO Nick Woodman raised eyebrows by proclaiming that GoPro is being repositioned as a smartphone accessory company.  A few months earlier, photo app developer Snapchat announced a similarly surprising shift by repositioning itself as a camera company (to signify the move, the company changed its name to Snap).  Meanwhile, digital camera vendors are still struggling to be relevant for the mobile world where the vast majority of today’s photo engagement is occurring. So does it make sense for…

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2016 Mobile Photo Connect Awards go to Funimate, Keepy, Regaind, and Beamr

At Mobile Photo Connect 2016, the premier conference for executives and entrepreneurs in the mobile photography ecosystem, a panel of high-powered industry players presented the four Mobile Photo Connect Awards to the most outstanding among 31 products competing in the event’s three show-and-tell sessions. The Mobile Photo Connect 2016 Awards winners are: Best of Show Award: Funimate, by Funimate Best Business Potential Award: JPEGmini, by Beamr Best Technology Award: Keegan, by Regaind Special Recognition Award: Keepy, by Keepy Turkey-based Funimate offers a video editing app that enables users to create highly engaging videos,…

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