Inspired by the success of Motion Stills, Google is releasing more photography apps built on experimental technology. Today, Google is launching three new “appsperimentals” for Android and iOS that take advantage of recent phone and computer vision advancements.

“Photography appsperiments” are “usable and useful mobile photography experiences built on experimental technology.” Motion Stills, which launched first on iOS before Android this year, created cinemagraphs from short video using experimental stabilization and rendering technologies

The three new apps use such technologies like object recognition, person segmentation, stylization algorithms, and efficient image encoding/decoding.

Google is researching this technology given the rise of next-generation phone cameras that will be able to blend hardware and computer vision algorithms. Specifically, the company is exploring “radically new creative mobile photo and video applications” as cameras will soon be able to understand the “semantic content” of a photo.

This is not all too different from how the Assistant in Google Photos can already curate photos and automatically create collages, movies, and GIFs.

  • 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! (iOSAndroid) is an automated selfie photographer that snaps a stylish black and white photo each time you pose. Tap the screen to start a photo shoot. 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.

The company notes that these apps are using technologies that are under “active research,” with performance possibly varying as a result. They hope that public feedback “will help guide some of the technology we develop next.”


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