Microsoft is today updating its smart camera app for iOS devices, Microsoft Pix, with new features that overlay artistic filters on top of user photos. The company said that the Pix team used neural networks to browse massive datasets of classic paintings in order to "learn the essence of what makes a given style of painting recognizable," all in an effort to fuel Pix's new features.

The first feature is called "Pix Styles" and it transforms pictures into styles inspired by popular works of art, or has the ability to add certain effects to a photo like making it look like it's on fire. Microsoft said that Pix Styles differs from traditional "filters" because it adds and alters texture, pattern, and tones to the picture to turn it into something completely different, instead of simply altering the image's colors.

Media image Heart
Pix Styles will still optimize the faces of the subjects in a photo to keep people recognizable, which was one of the flagship features of the app when it launched last July. Microsoft called the app "people-centric" when it debuted, since Pix could focus in on faces in a picture to adjust the focus, color, and exposure to ensure each subject looked their best.

One of the Pix team members, Josh Weisberg, said that Microsoft Pix is still a high-quality app with a focus on automatically providing users with the best shots possible, but the new features were added to generate fun moments for users that can be shared on social media.

“These are meant to be fun features,” said Josh Weisberg, a principal program manager in the Computational Photography Group within Microsoft’s research organization in Redmond, Washington. “In the past, a lot of our efforts were focused on using AI and deep learning to capture better moments and better image quality. This is more about fun. I want to do something cool and artistic with my photos.”

Microsoft calls the second feature "Pix Paintings" and it creates a time-lapse animation of the picture being painted in whichever artistic style the user chooses. The Pix team said that the app's artificial intelligence and deep neural networks fuel both the photo transformation in Pix Styles and animated redrawing in Pix Paintings.

Media GIF Heart hr
Pix Styles specifically will work directly on the iPhone with no cloud requirements needed to run the feature. Microsoft said that this is "part of a broader shift" to push AI away from the cloud and to user devices at the "edge of the network." The user benefits with the update since it lets them play around with Pix Styles "without using your data plan," saving money and lowering load times in the process.

Microsoft Pix is available to download on the iOS App Store for free [Direct Link].

Top Rated Comments

Sasparilla Avatar
65 months ago
Seems like a neat application, but why would I would want to hand access to my private photos to a company with a history of filching its customers like Microsoft?

https://www.theguardian.com/world/2013/jul/11/microsoft-nsa-collaboration-user-data
Score: 1 Votes (Like | Disagree)

Popular Stories

iPhone 13 Always On Feature

iPhone 14 Pro Screen Refresh Rate Upgrade Could Allow for Always-On Display

Tuesday May 24, 2022 7:23 am PDT by
Last year's iPhone 13 Pro models were the first of Apple's smartphones to come with 120Hz ProMotion displays, and while the two iPhone 14 Pro models will continue to feature the technology, their screens could well boast expanded refresh rate variability this time round. To bring ProMotion displays to the ‌iPhone 13 Pro models‌, Apple adopted LTPO panel technology with variable refresh...
iPhone 14 Pro Purple Front and Back MacRumors Exclusive

iPhone 14 Pro Renders Highlight Multiple Design Changes

Wednesday May 25, 2022 8:56 am PDT by
Leaker Jon Prosser today shared ostensibly accurate renders of the iPhone 14 Pro, providing the most accurate look yet at what the device could look like when it launches later this year. In the latest video on YouTube channel Front Page Tech, Prosser revealed renders of the iPhone 14 Pro made by Apple concept graphic designer Ian Zelbo, highlighting a range of specific design changes...
iPhone 14 Purple Lineup Feature

Will the iPhone 14 Be a Disappointment?

Saturday May 21, 2022 9:00 am PDT by
With around four months to go before Apple is expected to unveil the iPhone 14 lineup, the overwhelming majority of rumors related to the new devices so far have focused on the iPhone 14 Pro, rather than the standard iPhone 14 – leading to questions about how different the iPhone 14 will actually be from its predecessor, the iPhone 13. The iPhone 14 Pro and iPhone 14 Pro Max are expected...
iPhone 13 Face ID

'High-End' iPhone 14 Front-Facing Camera to Cost Apple Three Times More

Monday May 23, 2022 7:05 am PDT by
The iPhone 14 will feature a more expensive "high-end" front-facing camera with autofocus, partly made in South Korea for the first time, ET News reports. Apple reportedly ousted a Chinese candidate to choose LG Innotek, a South Korean company, to supply the iPhone 14's front-facing camera alongside Japan's Sharp. The company is said to have originally planned to switch to LG for the iPhone...
apple wwdc 2022

Apple Shares WWDC 2022 Schedule, Keynote to Take Place June 6 at 10:00 a.m PT

Tuesday May 24, 2022 9:06 am PDT by
Apple today confirmed that the keynote event for the Worldwide Developers Conference will begin at 10:00 a.m. Pacific Time on June 6, the first day of WWDC. The keynote will be an online-only event, though a select number of developers have been invited to the Apple Park campus for a viewing event. In addition to confirming the keynote date and time, Apple has shared the full WWDC 2022...
2022 Apple Watch Pride Edition Bands

Apple Announces 2022 Pride Edition Watch Bands and Watch Face

Tuesday May 24, 2022 6:24 am PDT by
Apple today announced new Pride bands for the Apple Watch, with new Pride Edition Sport Loop and Pride Edition Nike Sport Loop options available. The new Pride Edition bands are available to order today for $49 on Apple.com and in the Apple Store app, and will be available at Apple Store locations starting May 26. The Pride Edition Nike Sport Loop is also coming soon to Nike.com. This...