Google released two new photography apps today – Storyboard and Selfissimo! – as part of an initiative the company is calling “Appsperiments”. This new photography-focused approach is being touted as “usable and useful mobile photography experiences built on experimental technology”.
What are Appsperiments?
Google’s Appsperiments approach was inspired in part by Motion Stills, an app developed by researchers at Google that converts short videos into cinemagraphs and time lapses using experimental stabilization and rendering technologies. Appsperiments replicate this approach by building on other technologies in development at Google, like object recognition, person segmentation, stylization algorithms, efficient image encoding and decoding technologies.
Each of the world’s approximately two billion smartphone owners is carrying a camera capable of capturing photos and video of a tonal richness and quality unimaginable even five years ago. Until recently, those cameras behaved mostly as optical sensors, capturing light and operating on the resulting image’s pixels. The next generation of cameras, however, will have the capability to blend hardware and computer vision algorithms that operate as well on an image’s semantic content, enabling radically new creative mobile photo and video applications.
-Alex Kauffmann, Interaction Researcher, Google Research
The first Appsperiment, Storyboard, is a nifty little photo editor that transforms your videos into comics. You load a video, pull down to refresh until you get a layout you like, and then tap to save and/or share to your favorite social networks. I probably won’t use this one much myself, but it’s nice to have options for those who prefer them.
Storyboard is available exclusively on Android.
Neener neener, Fruit Phone fans!
This next one, Selfissimo!, is an automated selfie taker. Because that’s exactly what the world needs right now, is something to fuel our narcissistic ways. This app uses “experimental technologies”, or Google’s black magic voodoo – whatever you wanna call it – to take photos automatically each time you pose.
I have to admit, this one seems a bit more interesting than Storyboard, but maybe you’ll feel differently. At any rate, the download link for Selfissimo! is below. This one is also available on iOS.
Google released a third Appsperiment, Scrubbies, but it’s only available for iOS at the moment. So, Rudy-pooh-hoo.
I’ll keep an eye out for an Android release.
Whaddaya think, readers? Any interest in these Storyboard or Selfissimo! apps? Let us know your thoughts in the comment thread.