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LG turns to EyeEm to add AI to its cameras


LG today announced an updated version of the V30 smartphone and it comes with a supercharged camera powered by a third-party AI system. LG turned to EyeEm to add new features to the camera. Now, thanks to the EyeEm platform, the LG V30S ThinQ and soon the original V30 can automatically detect the subject of the picture — being a hamburger or dachshund — the camera will adjust the settings to produce the best results.

EyeEm’s AI platform runs locally on the device and does not need to pull AI information from the cloud to help with identification. According to a meeting with LG, even though this platform runs locally, it still has the ability to improve its capabilities as its used more.

LG spokesperson was clear: EyeEm’s system is available to other hardware makers though the company claims it tuned the system to be best suited for LG devices.

By using EyeEm’s system, LG can add AI capabilities to its phone without a dedicated chip like Apple or Huawei. The CPU inside the V30 powers the AI photo identification tool.

EyeEm is based out of Berlin, Germany and was founded in 2011. Since then, the company raised $24 million.

We gave the system a try on a pre-production unit and it works as advertised. To turn it on, users just need to hit the AI Cam button by the shutter. Once on, the system was able to recognize people, food, flowers and buildings. It takes a few seconds to switch between modes but when it makes the jump, the improvements are obvious.

Food looks a little more tasty, flowers look a bit brighter, and Brian looks even more handsome.

There are eight built-in modes: person (portrait), animal, city/building, flower, sunrise, sunset, food, and landscape.

Most of the time, when the AI camera is activated, small words pop on the screen as a sort of “I’m thinking” device. The system cycles through possible objects until it lands on the right one and adjusts the camera settings to match. For instance, if you point the camera at a flower, possible matches will pop on and off the screen until it lands on flower: food, color, party, object. Some of the possibilities are random: infinity pool, salt basin and musical instrument.

Sometimes it takes a second, other times it takes 10 seconds and sometimes, it fails to find a suitable setting and defaults to the normal.

This volley of names is a more cute than a spinning beachball or turning hourglass, but in the end it doesn’t serve much of a purpose.

LG says it intends to add these feature to older V30 phones. When? Very soon, they said, without going into any other details.

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