Sunday, November 19, 2017

Strava

If you like to run, ride or just adventure outside, give Strava a try. It’s free! Well then there's a premium version  But millions of runners, cyclists and active people use Strava to record their activities, compare performance over time, connect with their community, and share the photos, stories and highlights of their adventures with friends.

* Track Your Runs, Rides and Activities for Free

* Connect with Friends and Fellow Athletes

* Activity Photos: Showcase the best moments of your run or ride

Ok, so what's missing
After your adventures, tracking results and activity photos, there's no built in way to create a cool photo book that you can print, save and share. 




Saturday, November 18, 2017

Thermal imaging

Best Camera predicts that thermal imaging will come soon to mobile cameras and Apps. So why would anyone want this feature?

The Cat S60 is a custom smartphone built for 'Caterpillar' that is the first mobile camera to include thermal imaging. Construction workers and emergency workers use this camera to locate electrical glitches or even find missing people in buildings or outdoors. Now that's cool, well hot. 

So what about everyone else? You could use your phone to find your missing puppy or turtle. Turtles get lost all the time.  You could determine if someone is in your house. That's spooky.  The NSA could be waiting for you or a thief. But with your new smart phone superman feature, you would have the advantage. This is the kind of feature that could become viral. Use it on a TSA agent to get even with them. 





Thursday, November 16, 2017

Sky Guide

ARKit, the augmented reality SDK from Apple, was used to write Sky Guide a popular stargazing App  by Fifth Star labs.

Apple demonstrated Star Guide at the Apple Park campus in Cupertino. How all App developers would love to  have Apple demo their App. But this App deserved it.

Sky Guide is a great example of augmented reality in action giving you an animated sky.  Just point your phone to see the constellations. 


With the iPhone 8, iPhone 8 Plus, or iPhone 10 you can superimpose constellation maps on top of the actual sky by looking through the phone

Is it a star or Saturn? Simply hold it overhead and Sky Guide automatically adjusts to your viewing direction so you can easily identify stars, planets, constellations and more.



Sunday, November 12, 2017

Three iPhone X Hidden Features


1. Record your phone's screen. 

This is not new to the iPhone X, but it works great on this phone. 

Traverse to Settings > Control Centre > Customise Controls and add Screen Recording. Next Swipe from the bottom to how the Control Center. Tap the Screen Recording button, and it will begin a count down from three seconds before recording your phone's display. To stop recording, tap the red status bar at the top of your screen and then tap Stop.




2. The new flashlight shortcut

I like this. Next Swipe from the bottom to how the Control Center. On the screen's lower left edge there's a default flashlight shortcut. Just press and hold and the flashlight icon will light up. The Flashlight is 3D/force touch. Feels like a real button. 


3. Automatic detection



Three Face ID features 

  • Reveals notification and messages for your eyes only
  • Keeps the screen lit while you are still reading. No obnoxious dimming.  
  • Lower the volume of an alarm or ringer because it know you are close. 


Monday, November 6, 2017

Snapchat and Apple Collude on ARkit

Apple briefly announced at their iPhone event in Sept that they were working with Snapchat to create hyper-realistic filters that can track your face movements in their ARkit SDK.  Now the interesting thing about this developer technology is the application for the new iPhone X which has unique sensors on the edge of the screen for facial recognition and tracking. 

So in addition to facial ID security, this technology is available for face mapping and realistic face masking or filters like the ones available in Snapchat. But this hardware software breakthrough is available to other developers, not just Snapchat. 

So augmented reality is used to overlay images or graphics onto any face with  the phone's front-facing camera. But even better with the X.  Overlays are not just static. They can include moving graphics in videos.  




Here’s a few Apps using ARkit for real world masking. Expect more as developers become familiar with ARkit and the new iPhone X. 

Snapchat

MSQRD

LOL Movie

Funny Movie Maker


Personal Emoji with iPhone X

One of the first things you should try on your iPhone X is the emoji face maker called Animoji. Here's a vid demo.




Sunday, November 5, 2017

iPhone X secrets

This new device has two logic boards and it has two batteries (a first for any iPhone). Two logic boards are sometimes called a sandwich design. So why two batteries and two logic boards?

The X stands for 10 in iPhone 10. The 10th anniversary of the iPhone introduced by Steve.


Saturday, November 4, 2017

iPad Pro 10.5 with Zag


Just grabbed an IPad Pro 10.5 with Zag case and keyboard. Great for blogging as I’m doing here. Also great for writing and reading digital books. Perfect for testing Camera and Photo Apps.









Snapchat Tricks

Did you know you can do these with Snapchat?


1. Cutout and replace the backdrop. The trick here is to use the scissors icon. Then tap the diagonal lines. Select with outline the person you want to cut out. Select a backdrop and then tap scissors again to save.



2. Draw with Emojis. Just select the Pen Icon. Select an Emoji from the slider. Then just draw with your fingers. 



3. Use the night camera mode. When using the app in low light, a half moon icon will show up in the upper right corner. When present you can snap good pictures in the dark. Cover the phone with your hand if you are not seeing the moon icon. 



Friday, November 3, 2017

Face Swap Apps


Here's a funny girl playing with Face Swap Apps on her youtube channel. 






Here's a link list of the best face swap Apps we've found so far. If you have others comment below. 

Swap faces with your friend in real time.

Seriously funny masks. Similar to SnapChat's Lenses. 

This is not a face shaper. It mixes two faces into one face, which is pretty funny. 

Easy to use. Works great with well lit photos. 

With this App you can swap faces with pre-loaded celebs. Very fun. 




Tuesday, October 31, 2017

Like a photo studio in your pocket

Good article here.

iPhone X Cameras


Swift Kitura 2.0 wth Codable Routing

Better back end APIs for Mobile Camera Apps

Why are we writing a coding post on best Camera? It's because the open source programming language by Apple is becoming a universal language for both mobile as well as a preferred language for  backend webserivices.  This means that builders of Camera Apps, Drones, AI solutions, Visualization and more have better tools. And this in turn will result in better Apps.

And IBM has jumped on the band wagon to produce a framework for server side Swift solutions called Kitura

Kitura 2,0 announcement

Now with the advent of Swift 4.0 and Kitura 2.0 a new technology has emerged called Codable Routing  This is cool!

"Traditionally web frameworks require you to think in terms of web requests and responses, with HTTP headers and status codes, and dealing with parsing body data which is typically encoded as JavaScript Object Notation (JSON)."

But now coders just create asynchronous functions with completion handlers and they automatically become server side APIs.  So App developers can develop backend APIs for their mobile clients in Swift, and they can do it in 1/10th of the code.

But then to make it even easier for Swift clients like IOS Apps, IBM created KituraKitmaking it very easy to share Swift types between the client and server in the form of a Client/Server Contract. 

Here's an example on GitHub 






Monday, October 30, 2017

Home security system with camera app, AI and 3D monitoring

No more false alerts. The new lighthouse camera has 3D monitoring and machine learning. Tell the system what you are interested in. No need to scan hours of recorded video,



Light house web site to preorder 




Friday, October 27, 2017

Photo Apps adding Artificial Intelligence for Help Guides

This App is for personalized photo books, and all kinds of photo gifts like mugs and t-shirts. Below is a quick video on how to create a personalized photo book and print it for same day pickup at Walgreens.

But something we noticed of interest is a help system that includes IBM Watson. Not kidding. It looks like they have just started implementing this feature. On the main menu, just tap the ? button and it takes you to a Watson screen with voice recognition and Watson's voice. It's interesting and fun. Lets hope they keep improving the Watson integration because it has so many possibilities. We will be scouting out other Apps like this.

Here's the 2 minute HD video tutorial and a link to the App in the App Store.  At the time of this review, they were on version 3.5. It's a good App.  Besides Photo Books, it has Gift Printing with Fujifilm for home delivery. It's a snap to create and order your prints.









Why Not Camera Apps For Voting?

So the computer changes the world 36 years ago. News tried to spread fear. It turned out that computers did not take over. They are tools, like bicycles, just as Steve Jobs said. But for some incredibly inexplicable reason, we still cannot vote with our computers or with our mobile phones. That's because we could accurately track every single vote with redundancy. We would know exactly who voted when, where and how. Our Camera Apps for voting could identify us in real time. The vote would not be isolated in some obscure box for local manipulation by crooks and Russians. No need for recounts because all the votes can be re-tallied again in seconds by redundant systems. And so on... America would become a real Democracy. We cannot have that. Everyone voting! That would not be fair to the corrupt politicians. But the truth is that we need.





Thursday, October 26, 2017

AI Session @ Mobile Photo Connect Off Target

Sitting silently in the audience, I was surprised at the direction of the conversation by industry leaders on AI. This was a great conference, but this session became unwrapped.

In an effort to offload what they were calling Pure AI to local devices, they called things like speech recognition, gesture recognition and computer vision Artificial Intelligence. These are just front end user interface elements. It is our position that this attempt to call everything Artificial Intelligence is for marketing purposes only.

IBM just purchased 1 billion medical photos to be scanned with Watson. Watson would not have won the Jeopardy game with "Pure AI" on a local computer. The relationship between AI and Big Data cannot be unwrapped by redefining the meaning of AI. The technology needs to become more advanced with machine learning and collaborative data not simply redefined to include new user interface elements from traditional computing for marketing purposes.

The Apps we will be looking for in the field of AI will be much different than what was presented. The great mobile Apps of the future will Tap Into Artificial Intelligence in the Cloud as needed. The vast knowledge of humanity and cognitive understanding cannot be offloaded or redefined. There is a fundamental difference between AI and User Interface Elements. We will be looking for the real deal.


 only made easier to access.

Tuesday, October 24, 2017

We are headed to Mobile Photo Connect in San Francisco

This is a big event, so we are going there to cover it. One of the interesting sessions will be on how Artificial Intelligence is shaking up the photo and video industry.

Panelists on this session are:
  • Ramzi Rizk, Co-Founder & CTO, EyeEm
  • Josh Weisberg, Principal PM, Computational Photography, Microsoft
  • Borui Wang, Founder & CEO, Polarr
  • Argam DerHartunian, VP Product, PicsArt
With visual AI solutions ranging from photo capture, to image enhancement, to curation, and even to robotics, things are picking up.  We will be looking for the next gen of Photo Apps using AI.

"In a fireside chat session with conference co-Hosts Hans Hartman and Alexis Gerard, Google's Photo Lead for Content and Community, Anna Dickson, will discuss the issue of curation in an age of mixed human and AI assets."

Check back here on Best Camera for a complete first hand report. 


Thursday, October 5, 2017

Robots with Cameras

Sci-Fi writer Isaac Asimov's Three Laws of Robotics are worth a real world look. Robot cops are emerging. They are basically Camera Apps. 
  1. A robot may not injure a human being or, through inaction, allow a human being to come to harm.
  2. A robot must obey orders given it by human beings except where such orders would conflict with the First Law.
  3. A robot must protect its own existence as long as such protection does not conflict with the First or Second Law.


Saturday, September 30, 2017

Robotics as a Service

Cloud-based software will manage the skills, cognitive capabilities and support for the coming robotic age. Robotics as a service (RaaS) will create a demand for skilled programmers that understand this technology. Robots will be everywhere. Eyes in the sky and on the ground. 

Some of the best camera apps will be on Robots. Checkout IBM Bluemix with Watson and Cloudant, a cloud based database. Developers are building SaaS and RaaS in Swift and Kitura, a web framework. IBM Watson


"Representative companies employing a RaaS business model include PrecisionHawk (drone-based surveying for agriculture), Knightscope (robots for security and surveillance), Aethon (mobile robots for healthcare logistics), InTouch Health (mobile robotic telepresence), and Liquid Robotics (unmanned underwater vehicles."





Friday, September 29, 2017

Mobile Photo Connect


Mobile Photo Connect conference! Oct. 24-25




Best Camera will be attending and reporting on this event. 

This is where the action will be in San Francisco for Camera Apps. They will be hosting over 200 potential partners and industry leaders in the areas of: photo & video app developers, mobile vendors, cloud storage providers, software companies, camera manufacturers, trade press, and investors.

We hope to find some great Camera Apps and developer tools coming out of this event. 

Here's a list of some of the presenters.  We will be looking at their products in future posts. 

  • Adobe
  • Beamr
  • CaptureLife
  • Diagramics
  • EyeEm
  • Fujifilm
  • Getty Images
  • Google
  • GumGum
  • HP
  • Kite
  • Kwilt
  • Lightricks
  • Microsoft
  • National Geographic
  • Palmar├ęs Advisors
  • PastBook
  • PhotoGurus
  • Picanova
  • PicsArt
  • Polarr
  • Polygram
  • Pwinty Ltd.
  • Rainhut Inc.
  • SanDisk
  • Streetography
  • Taopix
  • TeamFotog
  • TechCrunch
  • The Refiners
  • Upthere
  • V360
  • Vicman
  • Zink

Thursday, September 21, 2017

What is ARKit from Apple?

Augmented Reality is becoming mainstream for Camera Apps.

ARKit is an Augmented Reality SDK (software development kit) from Apple for programmers, in particular Camera App coders. The SDK is basically a framework library that helps programmers create Augmented Reality Camera Apps for IOS devices. 

ARKit uses Visual Inertial Odometry (VIO) for tracking what the camera sees.  It combines the camera sensor data with motion data. And ARKit uses scene understanding to locate horizontal planes for placement of virtual objects onto the scene.


ARKit can also estimate the amount of lighting in a scene to then adjust the brightness for virtual objects to match the scene. It's pretty slick.

This new toolkit is available for use on IOS 11 and is programmed by developers using the new Xcode 9. It's available for both the Swift and Objective-C programming languages. 

Some example Apps are already popping up in the App Store taking advantage of this new technology. A pretty good review of these first Apps can be found here on theverge.com

Many more to AR Apps will follow and we will be scouting for the best ones. 








Saturday, September 16, 2017

Wikitude Augmented Browser

The Wikitude World Browser App is an augmented reality browser.  Using your smartphone’s camera the augmented browser uses over 3,500 associated content providers to give you information about where you are. For  example: landmarks, directions to the nearest ATM, suggested places to eat and hotels through Yelp and TripAdvisor.  Not sure about the bug-bug stating game included. But I like the ability to check mark and share your favorite spots via Facebook. That's cool.

Download for free:


Android      IOS 



Tuesday, September 12, 2017

iPhone 8 and Augmented Reality

The new iPhone 8 has wireless charging, freeing up a port for your headset. But this new phone also has a new camera with augmented reality features. Combined with the ARkit SDK and IOS 11, developers have a new toy and a new market to attack. This was predicted here on Best Camera. We can't wait to see the new augmented reality camera apps.



What coders are learning about AR

iPhone X Front Camera Face Detection

So you're telling me there's a chance. The face detection has a one in a million chance of letting the wrong person into your phone. The X  has no home button, it's water proof and costs $999. One more thing:


Steve Jobs’ boat in Hanalei, Kauai 



Monday, September 11, 2017

Saturday, September 9, 2017

Can You See The Future?

Nikola Tesla Predicted Smartphones In 1926

But he did not predict this:

The future of smart phones and the path to virtual reality and artificial intelligence belongs to the mobile camera and mobile camera software.

When VR meets AI

For more than a decade, smartphones have become smaller and faster and the cameras have improved dramatically.

Best Camera makes these Big 10 predictions for the future of Smart Phones!

1. Virtual rendering for purchasing. See your purchases of large objects, such as furniture, in your own home before you buy them.
2. Owner recognition and unlocking by facial recognition.
3. Scanning of 3-D for objects for mobile ordering of 3-D printing.
4. Point and translate of printed materials from one language to another.
5. Faster duel camera rendering. The Galaxy Note 8 is paving the way already.
6. Mobile App Drone control and photography will advance in hundreds of directions.
7. Rapid scanning for nearly perfect facial recognition and ultimate security.
8. Augmented reality will bring still objects to life and lead the way to real time virtual reality.
9. 3-D hologram projections
10. Mobile Artificial Intelligence.




Now you can ride your camera

This was just too incredible not to write about. Here is a video of a man riding his drone. Now that is a basis for photography and great camera Apps.




Friday, September 8, 2017

Quickshot App from Lighttricks

The new Quickshot app from lighttricks adjusts your photography in real time. It basically aligns, adjusts exposure, and shows filters in real time. That's the good news. The bad news is that it's a subscription paid model. Still worth a look. It's free to download for limited features. Only on iPhone, not IPad. Quickshot Link


The Skyrocketing business of Drones

App developers are discovering the benefits that drones and image evaluation can bring to fire fighters, builders, farmers, miners, scientists and many others. 

Here is an interesting article about an upstart software company DroneDeploy focused on Drone App technology and image analysis. 

The next gen Camera Apps

CNBC article








Monday, September 4, 2017

Make Gif's from Photos and Vides


Gifx 


GIFs are fun and shareable. But how is a good way to take your mobile photos and videos and create Gifs. 

Try Gifx. This App has over 200 GIF effects for your photos and videos. It lets you add music, and it has over 100 optional masks to use as well, a cool feature.




Sunday, August 27, 2017

Drone Camera Apps

It seems that the Swift programming language, IBM Bluemix, Watson, Cloudant and  OpenWisk are ideal technologies for building DJI Drone Camera Apps. Here's a sample App called Skylink, including source code. Any ideas for the best Drone Camera Apps?

Skylink Camera App

Tuesday, August 15, 2017

Depth Imaging Smartphones

Here is an interesting article about Depth Imaging Smartphones. Is depth imaging mobile cameras in the near future or not?

Saturday, August 5, 2017

Best Camera looks at Drone Apps

Drones are a great way to take photos and videos. Spectacular footage comes from drones. But what are some good Add-On Apps for Drones? Below is a good list of helpful Apps for drones pilots with a quick summary of their best features. But what we are really looking for is Apps with Artificial Intelligence for feedback as well as enhanced computer generated imagery. For that we are doing our research, so stay tuned.

Hover

This IOS App is a great App for beginning Drone Pilots. Hover comes with No-Fly zones to help you know where you can legally fly your drone. 

DJI+Discover

This App is for both IOS and Android helps pilots connect with other pilots. You can chat, share ideas and even meet-up. 

For IOS and Android, use this App to track nearby helicopters and airplanes. Check the air before launching safely. 

Autopilot

For IOS, this app has a flight trainer to help you fly better. 


Sun Surveyor

For IOS and Android, use this app to see exactly where the sun is located throughout the day using augmented reality. Basically you have the power to map the best time and locations to photograph.


SKRWT


This IOS App helps correct the horizontal and vertical distortion common to drone photography.