Google’s photo software is about to get upgraded…

Stanford professor and iPhone Camera app developer Marc Levoy is going to Google for two years according to his Stanford bio page:

I will be on part-time leave of absence from June 2011 through June 2013, to pursue a project at Google. 

This stint at Google won’t be his first.  He co-designed the Google book scanner and launched Google’s Street View project.

Levoy’s current interests include light fields, optical microscopy, and computational photography – meaning computational imaging techniques that extend the capabilities of digital photography. Levoy’s recent research focuses on camera applications.

My research has recently focused on making cameras programmable. One concrete outcome of this project is our Frankencamera architecture, published in this SIGGRAPH 2010 paper. To help me understand the challenges of building photographic applications for a mobile platform, I tried writing a cell phone app myself. The result is SynthCam. By capturing, tracking, aligning, and blending a sequence of video frames, the app makes the near-pinhole aperture on an iPhone camera act like the large aperture of a single-lens-reflex (SLR) camera. This includes the SLR’s shallow depth of field and resistance to noise in low light. The app is available for $0.99 in the iTunes app store. I don’t expect to get rich from this app, but I learned a lot by writing it, and yes – seeing it appear in the app store was a thrill. Here are a few of my favorite reviews of the app: MIT Technology ReviewWiReD.

What’s Levoy going to be working on at Google?

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