Category Archives: mobile

Apple Store

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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The battle of the photo format

Hidden deep inside Apple’s WWDC 17 was an announcement that made little waves but that might have great repercussion: In their OS11 release, the Cupertino company plans to store images using their new HEIF format rather the almighty JPEG. The reason? HEIF compression takes half the space of the JPEG compression, suddenly doubling storage for photos. What is HEIF? HEIF is short for High-Efficiency Image Format. It was created by MPEG, the committee in charge of all standard video compression formats ( MPEG-1, MPEG-2, MPEG-4, H.264/AVC, HEVC/H.265).  An HEIF file…

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Google: what’s wrong with a lack of jaw-dropping announcements?

In short: Nothing. With an emphasis on incremental improvements to Google’s photo organizing, sharing and search solutions, Google’s maturing solutions are now becoming so easy, efficient, and helpful that many consumers will feel they can’t live without them. Perhaps equally important, Google is opening up more and more of its supporting AI technologies to developers – for companies who can’t afford to hire an army of AI PhDs. The Google I/O announcements important to mobile imaging vendors To put the photo-related announcements in perspective, note…

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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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ldv vision summit

You Are Brilliant and You Want More Exposure

Every second of every day, people around the world are publishing research papers and launching new startups that leverage computer vision, machine learning, and artificial intelligence. Researchers and professors want their work to be noticed in the midst of a flood of new work. Entrepreneurs want to build valuable businesses, get covered in Techcrunch, Wired, Wall Street Journal, want to raise financing and want happy customers. We want to help you! We have been organizing the premier annual visual technology summit since 2014 called the…

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Snap is a camera company

At a time of uncertain public statements, caught between fake news and alternative fact, Snap can certainly be called a camera company. But days before it’s very publicized IPO- the first for a photo app – the truth about Snapchat, along with it’s previously hidden operating cogs, reveals much more. Snap is a camera company states the official public offering, which just happens to have built its success on everything else but a camera. If Snap is indeed a camera company, it is indeed a very bad…

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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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