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Google Pixel 6 phones may blur moving faces

Coming this fall, the Google Pixel 6 series smartphones are expected to offer a cool feature for correcting blurry faces captured in motion using the capabilities of Tensor, Google’s custom processor designed specifically for Pixel.

Google’s flagship Pixel 6 camera design was leaked earlier in May, and Google officially unveiled the phones this month. Both phones in the series – Pixel 6 and Pixel 6 Pro – sport a horizontal camera bump that extends across the support portion of the back of the device. No specific details on the camera’s specs have yet been released, except that the Tensor will make the Pixel 6 series “Google’s smartest, most secure, and most personal phones ever”.

However, Google has shared Pixel 6 demos with The edge and Wired, revealing a unique feature that these smartphones will offer its users: the subjects’ faces without blurring.

Most smartphone users have probably been disappointed to see blurry faces when photographing friends and family who may have moved or if the smartphone itself was not yet sufficient. To resolve this issue, the Pixel 6 will capture a photo from the primary sensor using normal exposure while capturing a secondary photo using the ultra-wide lens at a much faster shutter speed.

Using the aforementioned new Tensor chip, images will be combined, with color and detail taken from the longer exposure and facial clarity preserved from the shorter exposure.

In the demo shared with The edge and Wired, Google showed a blurry photo of a toddler moving during capture and a second version of the same photo but passing through Tensor Processing Unit (TPU), and the child’s face was comparatively sharper. The chip corrects for movement and also runs a face detection pattern to identify a face and ensure that it is given priority to be in focus.

Google chief hardware officer Rick Osterloh explained to Wired that “this is done with a series of different sophisticated machine learning models running in parallel in real time, merging images from several different sensors at once,” but the Pixel Camera recognizes that the two sensors did not need to be used for every photo and only in difficult shooting situations.

Likewise, TPU was brought into play for video – Google set up a demonstration of a simple panning over a beach, with the setting sun fully in frame for most of the shot. The same platform was set up with Pixel 5 and iPhone 12 Pro Max, but the Pixel 6 came in ahead of both – it doesn’t artificially lighten shadows too much like the iPhone 12 Pro Max and maintains a natural white balance. , said The edge.

While face erasing is an impressive feature that makes the Pixel 6 series attractive, The edge note that it was only shown a demo. Google previously promised to remove chain link fences from photos in 2017, but this feature never materialized in the real world, so it remains to be seen whether Google delivers on its promise to make mobile faces blur-free.


Image credits: Header illustration photo licensed from Depositphotos


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Mildred Lasky

The author Mildred Lasky