AI: it’s time to take image recognition beyond auto-tagging

September 14, 2017 by Hans Hartman


At Mobile Photo Connect we’ve covered AI from the days when AI-based image recognition technologies first left the realm of academics and morphed into apps and services for automatically classifying consumers’ image collections. 

Three years ago we enjoyed having on stage Matt Zeiler, discussing the products of his then 2-person startup, Clarifai (the company now has 55+ employees, has raised $40M, and is reportedly valued at $120M).  The same year we also had Yi Li, CEO of Orbeus, share her perspectives on image recognition (Orbeus has since been acquired by Amazon and its technology supplies many of the face and image recognition features in Amazon Photos).                                    

Fast forward to today.  AI for face recognition and auto-tagging images (“find my photos with cats in them”) has matured so much that it has become a commodity, while innovative new AI applications are being developed both inside and outside our consumer imaging industry (think of camera-equipped self-driving cars that interpret visual information in real-time, for instance).


The iPhone X deep-dive – Why this phone will disrupt the mobile imaging ecosystem

September 14, 2017 by Floris van Eck


After months of speculation, on Wednesday Apple unveiled its new flagship phone, the iPhone X. This new addition to the Apple family marks the 10th anniversary of the iPhone, the device that changed the world at a scale and in a time span, no one, not even Steve Jobs, could have foreseen.

What makes the iPhone X unique isn't its design (I am personally of the opinion that Apple's design has been uninspired for years), or even its massively immersive 5.8" OLED screen - it is the machine learning, depth imaging sensors and processors that set it apart and justify the phone's $999 entry price point. The iPhone X is a groundbreaking device that gives us a window into the future of mobile imaging.



Going Deep – the race for depth imaging smartphones is on

August 15, 2017 by Hans Hartman


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



Photo storage 4.0 - it's deduplication, stupid!

August 2, 2017 by Hans Hartman


Today, I'd like to share the second part of our photo storage survey findings that relate to how and why consumers store their smartphone photos on cloud services or home storage devices, as well as what features they most value in photo organizing apps or services.

Why store photos in the cloud?
On a 5-step scale from totally unimportant to extremely important, the ability to back up photos in the cloud is most frequently considered important or extremely important, followed by the ability to aggregate one's photos in an easy or automatic way and the option to access all one's photos from any device.



Reality check: taking, keeping, storing smartphone photos

July 19, 2017 by Hans Hartman


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 an extensive survey about how consumers were taking, storing and managing their photos, as well as what types of solutions they wanted to see in the future. But that was 1.5 years ago - and a lot has changed in the meantime.  



VR: a dud? Or has it barely started?

June 29, 2017 by Hans Hartman


Yesterday, I had the pleasure of moderating a panel about VR at the New York La French Touch conference that exactly addressed this question. With four panelists whose companies push the VR envelope in 360 capture, 360 editing, 360 in-headset authoring, and 360 professional content aggregation, it was refreshing to see that VR startups are unabashed in pushing VR forward, even now that VR is no longer the buzzword de jour that it was a year ago.  Trough of disillusionment? Who cares!

Let me share with you what they do.




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

June 8, 2017 by Hans Hartman


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 stable motion tracking. 

What does that mean? 



Google I/O: what's wrong with a lack of
jaw-dropping announcements?


May 23, 2017 by Hans Hartman


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.

To put the photo-related announcements in perspective, note that Google CEO Sundar Pichai proclaimed that we are shifting from a mobile-first to an AI-first world



Announcing Mobile Photo Connect 2017

Expanding to 1.5-day program; attractive Early Bird VIP program

May 11, 2017 by Hans Hartman



Move over Snap:
Facebook is the camera company to beat

It's the platform, stupid

April 25, 2017 by Hans Hartman



Canon’s acquisition of Kite –
the view from the stakeholders

April 13, 2017 by Hans Hartman



The unstoppable rise of Stories

New social visual story telling format strikes a chord in social networks and chat services

March 22, 2017 by Hans Hartman



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

March 9, 2017 by Hans Hartman

Read More -> 


The unpredicted but explainable comeback
of instant printing

Camera-printers and Snapchat; retro photo prints and Instagram; instant sharing and WhatsApp – today’s instant printing popularity is more than a niche phenomenon

February 22, 2017 by Hans Hartman



From Artificial Intelligence to
Intelligent Imaging

AI buzz is everywhere – but smart imaging innovations are flourishing
right inside our industry

February 7, 2017 by Hans Hartman




What Snapchat, GoPro and Giroptic have in common

January 25, 2017 by Hans Hartman


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