Monthly Archives: September 2019

Snapchat introduces 3D selfies

Looks fun, though I have no idea how to create these; “open the app to the camera, navigate to the 3D option option in the dropdown menu, and voila:

The Verge writes,

Starting today, people with an iPhone X or newer can use “3D Camera Mode” to capture a selfie and and apply 3D effects, lenses, and filters to it.

Snap first introduced the idea for 3D effects with Snaps when it announced its latest version of Spectacles, which include a second camera to capture depth. The effects and filters add things like confetti, light streaks, and miscellaneous animations.

[YouTube]

Use Google’s AR face tech to build cross-platform effects

Look Ma, no depth sensor required.

People seem endlessly surprised that one is not only allowed to use an iPhone at Google, but that we also build great cross-platform tech for developers (e.g. ML Kit). In that vein I’m delighted to say that my team has now released an iOS version (supporting iPhone 6s and above) of the Augmented Faces tech we first released for ARCore for Android earlier this year:

It provides a high-quality, 468-point 3D mesh that lets users attach fun effects to their faces — all without a depth sensor on their smartphone. With the addition of iOS support rolling out today, developers can now create effects for more than a billion users. We’ve also made the creation process easier for both iOS and Android developers with a new face effects template.

Here’s a quick overview from my teammate Sam:

[YouTube]

Adobe shows off auto-reframing video tech

This slick tool helps retarget “cinematic 16:9, square 1:1, or vertical 9:16, without losing track of your subject.” PetaPixel writes,

If you’re working with a timeline that includes multiple clips, there’s also an “Auto Reframe Sequence” option that allows you to select the aspect ratio you want and apply it to every clip in your timeline at once. Best of all, the effect isn’t only applied to the video footage, titles and motion graphics are also resized to fit the new aspect ratio.

Check it out:

[YouTube]

You can now Lens Uncle Ben’s to get personalized info

I know this will seem like small beans—literally—but over time it’ll be a big deal, and not just because it’s an instance of the engine I’m working to enhance.

Through Lens, you’ll get meal recommendations based on your tastes, dietary preferences, and allergies, along with a personalized score for products like Uncle Ben’s Ready Rice, Flavored Grains, Flavor Infusions, and beans.

VentureBeat goes on to note,

The growing list of things Lens can recognize covers over 1 billion products… The new feature follows a Lens capability that highlights top meals at a restaurant and a partnership with Wescover that supplies information about art and design installations. Lens also recently gained the ability to split a bill or calculate a tip after a meal; [and] to overlay videos atop real-world publications.

Check out the latter, from a couple of months ago. As I say, big things have small beginnings.

Photographers remember 9/11

  • Photojournalist James Nachtwey grabbed his camera and ran towards Ground Zero. He captured incredible images, nearly paying for them with his life. You should read his story.
  • Tom Junod’s article The Falling Man, about Richard Drew’s famous 9/11 photograph, is long, very difficult, and rewarding.
  • The Thousand-Yard Stare” : Peter Turnley talks about meeting Sal Isabella, the fireman whose image he captured the morning after the attacks.

NewImage

The new Google Nest Hub looks to be a terrific photo frame

I’m not kidding (or shilling for my employer) when I tell you that:

  1. The 7” Google Nest Hubs in our kitchen & my parents’ kitchen are quite possibly the most popular items in the room.
  2. Setting up an auto-populated photo stream of our & my brothers’ kids is easily our most indispensable use of Google Photos.
  3. Seeing our kids on screen every day actually motivated my folks to come visit more frequently.

Now a new 10” sibling (with video chat!) has joined the product lineup, and it can do tons of stuff. Check it out:

[YouTube]