The Google Pixel 3 is known for its camera features that are mostly dependent on artificial intelligence, such as Night Sight and Super Res Zoom. Now the Pixel 3 is getting one more unique camera feature called Kiss Detection.
How the Pixel 3 Kiss Detection feature works
Google’s Pixel 3 Kiss Detection feature is part of an update to the Camera app’s Photobooth mode. This new capability is a shutter-free mode which uses the Pixel 3’s wide-angle selfie camera to take photos automatically.
“And in the newest release of Pixel Camera, we’ve added kiss detection to Photobooth! Kiss a loved one, and the camera will automatically capture it,” Google said in a blog post.
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Implementing the Pixel 3 Kiss Detection feature wasn’t easy. Google explains that it had to use a completely different model to train the algorithm as people don’t usually look at the camera while kissing. The search giant said each frame is scored and more weight is given to the action happening on the front than in the background.
The tech also creates a buffer to see if the next frames have a higher score than earlier frames. Eventually, the frames with the highest scores are saved.
“The frame score considers both facial expression quality and the kiss score. As the kiss detection model operates on the entire frame, its output can be used directly as a full-frame score value for kissing,” Google said.
The tech powering the Pixel 3 Kiss Detection feature can partly be attributed to Google Clips, an experiment conducted by the search giant in 2017 to make photography easier. Google Clips was a useful tool to capture candid moments. It’s a small, lightweight gadget that uses AI to decide when to snap photos.
To use the Pixel 3 Kiss Detection feature, make sure your phone has Google Camera 6.2. If your phone has this version, then enable Photobooth mode and start kissing. Those with older Pixel phones can download the modded GCam by cstark27 to add Photobooth mode.
A useful camera feature
In addition to detecting kisses, Google said Photobooth mode recognizes five other facial expressions, including “smiles, tongue-out, kissy/duck face, puffy-cheeks, and surprise.” The search giant explained that neural nets scan the user’s face for facial expressions and ensure the camera doesn’t automatically click when their eyes are closed.
You can access the Photobooth mode from the “More” tab in Google Camera. The mode is optimized for the dual-lens front-facing camera in the Pixel 3 and uses machine learning to take photos automatically. It looks for individuals, couples, and groups to trigger a click.
Google suggests the technology powering the Pixel 3 Kiss Detection feature could eventually be used for more than just capturing kisses. The search giant notes that going forward, it should be able to develop its automatic photography abilities beyond facial expressions and more like how the Google Clips camera operated.
“We’re excited by the possibilities of automatic photography on camera phones,” Google said in a blog post. “As computer vision continues to improve, in the future we may generally trust smart cameras to select a great moment to capture.”
What you need to know about the Pixel 3a
In other Pixel news, Google is soon expected to release a cheaper Pixel 3 phone. There is a good chance the search giant will launch such a phone on May 7. Moreover, it is now known that the cheaper Pixel 3 variant will likely be called the “Pixel 3a” rather than the “Pixel 3 Lite.”
Google’s Pixel 3a could prove an attractive proposition by offering a near-flagship device with a flagship-level camera. Google is expected to launch two variants of the cheaper Pixel phone: the 3a and 3a XL.
The prices of the phones also surfaced online recently. The Pixel 3a is expected to have a price tag of C$649 for the 64 GB storage variant, while the XL variant is rumored to be priced at C$799. Moreover, the new Pixel phones are expected to come in white and black.
Google’s cheaper Pixel phones will likely run on a new Android experience out of the box with some Android Q features but not the full Android Q version. Google is expected to show off Android Q at its I/O developer conference next month. The full Android Q will arrive when Google releases its next-gen Pixel phones (presumably the Pixel 4) later this year.