Alice Digicam blends high-quality optics, AI and your cellphone

Alice Digicam is a clever mixture of AI, high-quality optics, and smartphone intelligence

Launching in summer season season 2022, the Alice Digicam is designed to provide ‘the intelligence and client experience of a cellphone nonetheless with the image prime quality of a DSLR’

For spontaneous photos, the perfect digicam for the job is the one you happen to be holding. For the overwhelming majority of casual photographers, that digicam is the one in your smartphone. The very first cameras appeared on industrial cellphones throughout the flip of the century (although as ever with tech milestones, there are a variety of claims to the title of pioneer). The early work of corporations like Kyocera, Motorola, Samsung, and even Apple, opened the floodgates to what’s now best known as ‘computational photos’; comparatively small sensors and lenses, paired with massively refined algorithms and processing to ship the type of photos that even the perfect DSLR cameras would wrestle to match.

One agency believes that cell photos might presumably be larger. Whereas many aftermarket items promise to spice up or develop the capabilities of a smartphone lens system, Alice Digicam bypasses the built-in sensors absolutely in favor of a bespoke lenses and sensor system. Billed as a result of the ‘digicam for creators’, the gadget makes daring claims for its capability to combine new and former {{hardware}} with AI-driven software program program.

We spoke to the CEO and co-founder of the company, Vishal Kumar, about his aspirations for the product, which is due to launch this summer season season.

Wallpaper*: How prolonged has the Alice Digicam been in enchancment?

Vishal Kumar: We had a proof of concept in June 2020, nonetheless I might say that the Alice Digicam formally began enchancment in September 2020, after we obtained an innovation grant from Innovate UK (the federal authorities’s evaluation firm) that turbocharged our enchancment and allowed us to hire a workforce and develop.

W*: What impressed the gadget?

VK: We constructed the Alice Digicam out of frustration with the dearth of innovation and usefulness of typical interchangeable-lens digital cameras. Digital cameras won’t be really match for a fast-paced content material materials life-style and have misplaced out massively to an explosion in smartphone digicam experience. Smartphones leverage computational photos with an easy-to-use design, nonetheless their small sensors will not ever be enough for creators who generate a residing from their content material materials, because of these creators are more likely to care fairly a bit about prime quality.

W*: What are your aspirations for the gadget?

VK: Our workforce is made up of creators, photographers, and engineers and we would have liked a device that had the intelligence and client experience of a cellphone nonetheless with the image prime quality of a DSLR. We started to contemplate how a model new know-how digicam might presumably be redesigned from the underside up. Our reply was to combine smartphone and mirrorless digicam experience with computational photos into one gadget, our AI digicam known as the Alice Digicam.

W*: Will it work with any smartphone? What does the app add to the usual digicam software program program?

VK: Positive, it may work with most telephones, every iOS and Android. We solely use the smartphone as a present and administration interface, the image processing pipeline and computational photos algorithms run on the processor contained within the Alice Digicam. There’s primarily no distinction in efficiency when using the Alice Digicam with fully completely different telephones, even comparatively earlier ones.

Working the Alice Digicam app on the buyer’s smartphone supplies the experience of using a latest-gen smartphone show as a result of the viewfinder for educated interchangeable-lens optical system, and with the power so as to add instantly to the cloud or social media is pretty useful. Pairing the digicam so intently with the smartphone unlocks a bunch of client experience enhancements and permits it to fit in additional seamlessly with the stylish content material materials creator’s workflow.

W*: What had been the precept technical challenges?

VK: The design of the Alice Digicam is awfully minimal when as compared with a standard mirrorless DSLR digicam. We now have stripped out numerous complexity; there aren’t too many bodily buttons and there are solely a handful of core digital components. The Alice Digicam is constructed additional like a smartphone than a standard digicam, which has meant that now now we have redesigned the electronics from scratch.

It has been designed significantly to permit superior AI-powered computational photos algorithms to be run on photos collected by its micro four-thirds sensor.

W*: What are its specs?

VK: The Alice Digicam accommodates an advanced Qualcomm Snapdragon processor, identical to these in numerous Android smartphones, with large image-processing functionality, alongside a Google Edge TPU, a faithful accelerator for AI algorithms, identical to these current in some Google Pixel telephones. It is a radically fully completely different design to a typical mirrorless or DSLR digicam, with a greater think about flexibility and computational power.

AI is a transformational experience for photos, it permits many points that had been beforehand inconceivable and automates points that beforehand required professional human intervention. It permits professional-quality post-processing to be utilized to video in precise time for keep streaming, and it permits a digicam to grab photos with elevated choice and dynamic range than its optical system is ready to.

W*: How does the digicam use AI?

VK: [AI] is inflicting elementary modifications in how content material materials is created, shared and consumed, and the Alice Digicam is designed to harness it. We now have already collected over 5 million photos from open datasets to teach our AI fashions. Now we’re developing our private proprietary image database to extra observe and enhance our novel end-to-end AI pipeline for expert imaging.

The worldwide chip shortage has had a big affect on the whole market, and we did witness delays of six months. However, now now we have been in regular contact with our suppliers and have managed our present chain for 2023.

W*: Who’s the objective market?

CV: The objective market is income-generating content material materials creators who produce, edit and share content material materials on a frequent basis. Based mostly on a present LinkTree report, there are literally 200 million creators all around the world who make an income from their content material materials on-line. These creators normally start out their careers using a smartphone to offer content material materials, nonetheless as they change into additional well-known and start to deal with paid work, they’ve an inclination to utilize entry-level mirrorless cameras to offer content material materials.

The Alice Digicam price proposition will strongly resonate with them because of our intention is to supply them DSLR prime quality content material materials nonetheless to drastically streamline their workflow. Nevertheless, rising, many small firms are moreover all in favour of using expert cameras to share content material materials, the reality is, 30 per cent of the people who’ve pre-ordered an Alice Digicam are small enterprise homeowners or video companies. ❤

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