How good is the camera that you cannot use?

The level of technology employed by camera of the latest smartphones is truly mind-blowing. 48-megapixels? How about 64-megapixels. Nope. 108-megapixel sensors, that’s where it’s at. With apetures in the f/1.8 range. And let’s make sure we can capture in 8K when we feel like it. Telephoto lenses are available. And with sensor pixels at the one micron scale, the software built into mobile phone camera have a lot to work with. Different processing modes can merge pixels as desired, 4 pixels can be merged together to achieve a specific style, groups of 9 pixels could be merged for a different effect. Mobile phone cameras have used software for image enhancements for ages. And just like the latest hardware, the software powering cameras on these flagship smartphones is more powerful than ever before. Real time photo effects can be applied as zoom levels and high resolutions are managed to maximize quality. Having multiple lenses in the camera hardware has delivered next generation of possible photography effects available, and it would not be possible without the advanced software to match.

Now when you are at the beach, as you slow down to steady yourself in the soft sand between your toes, your dog just flies by running out towards the water. Before you even can call out to him, the Frisbee your kid threw from behind sails over and almost magically slows to a hover. You sense the perfect action shot as a wave crests in the the backdrop of your dog mid air of the perfect catch.

With the supercomputer in your pocket, which has the majority of horsepower directed right at that lens, this should be super easy. Sadly not the case. Getting out of the wide mode you were using yesterday to capture this action shot in time can be more difficult than clearing the next level of Candy Crush. Other times a feature seems to disappear completely and for no reason at all (Zoom Mode ….)? Has your camera ever got stuck in some weird mode that had you tempted to do a factory reset?

Perhaps some of this frustration stems from the paradox of choice. So many wonderful features to choose from for every conceivable photo we might ever want to take. But that’s not the whole picture here. The user interface and specific widget controls for the camera are often quite intimidating. More importantly, the development focus of the major phone manufacturers has been this mad rush of ever-increasing tech specs and feature lists. This makes for great marketing to be sure, but what about those of us who actually want to use these wonderful features on the smartphone camera we just bought? Understanding how it works can be worse than trying to understand stereo instructions.

This thing reads like stereo instructions!

The proverbial uselessness of stereo instructions in days of old resulted from complex technology as described by engineers who already know how the thing works. Camera phones have now found themselves in a similar situation. But modern day smartphone manufacturers have a powerful solution available in the technology itself. The AI software already sitting there inside the the phone could also be used to deliver an intuitive and helpful user experience, instead of being relegated to only powering the internal camera tech. This potential is near limitless. It could be an interactive user guide. It could be a chat-bot agent. It could be predictive UI that highlights buttons most likely to be most useful for the subject in frame.

Many different smartphone technologies have had similar challenges. In the early days of auto-correct it was just plain awful. Like scary to use awful, it could text crazy stuff to Grandma before we could stop it. Of course this technology has improved over time, and these days we often use it without even realizing. The underlying software technology for modern-day auto-correct is also highly complex, yet elegant and intuitive user interfaces make getting the most out of it a breeze. Smartphone camera features and software is taking a similar journey on the technical dimension. But what’s missing is ease-of-use.

We know ease of use. It’s fundamental to our user experience development here at MX-Fusion. We have made a concerted effort to leverage advanced and complex technologies, such as artificial intelligence and mobile device interfaces, to create a deeply artistic music player that is immersively intuitive. We know how hard it is to make things easy. But we believe that the mobile camera experience should be this same level of easy.

Even though we’ve got this sad state of affairs at the present moment for wildly complex camera features, looking to a future based on other products from these same companies, as previously mentioned much improved advanced technologies, we are steadfastly optimistic that the ease-of-use factor is on the way for our mobile phone’s advanced cameras. And that is a great thing, because we love photos! Especially when fused with our favorite music 🙂

And we firmly believe that taking a great snap of Grandma should be just as easy as texting Grandma.

In the meantime, let’s enjoy a fusion for Moby | Porcelain:

Photo by Joel Mott on Unsplash

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