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Google Glass updates camera with HDR, adds captions

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This photo was taken with Google Glass' new software update.

The latest software update from Google Glass gave the 5-megapixel camera a serious boost. On top of allowing the addition of captions to images, Project Glass has updated the camera to take multiple images in quick succession and combine them to create an image stacking or high dynamic range effect.

The current purpose of Google Glass' camera seems to be recording images that are as close to what you are seeing as possible — more life logging than artsy. With that in mind, the automatic HDR feature and image stacking abilities seem like a good addition to Google's wearable camera. Users will be able to capture more of what they see around them.

With the new update, the image stacking feature will help capture more light and detail in the dark and HDR will be turned on automatically in bright scenes to put more detail in the shadows. 

The actual execution of the new imaging software needs a little bit of work. Of Google's example images, a couple suffered from too-dark foregrounds after processing. Meanwhile, the low-light, indoor images could do with a bit of color correction after HDR's inherent over-saturation.

The new feature greatly improves Glass' photographic capabilities in both low light and full sun but it is only just the beginning of what we hope are more camera improvements coming to Glass. Project Glass is aiming to release one software update each month, addressing all aspects of Glass' functionality. 

From Project Glass' Google+ page:

1. Better photos on Glass
Today we’re releasing new software for the camera on Glass. It captures a rapid sequence of shots behind the scenes every time you press the camera button which, when combined, gives you a better picture than what you would get with a single shot. So, what does this new software mean for your pictures? Two things: you no longer have to be afraid of the dark; it'll detect low light situations and automatically capture a brighter, sharper picture. It'll also automatically take HDR pictures in bright scenes. Best of all, this software works even in tough situations where there are moving subjects.
 
It’s these kinds of useful improvements that make pictures on Glass even more magical. Anyway, it doesn’t make sense for you to read about it, right? Right, which is exactly why we’ve put together an album showcasing a ‘with and without’ of our favourite photos. Check them out and let us know what you think. Here's a link to the images in high-res: http://goo.gl/gRtVV

2. Photo captions 
They say a picture is worth a thousand words, but we understand that you may want to add a few. So now, when sharing a photo, you’ll see a message inviting you to add a caption. When you see this, simply tap the touchpad, speak your caption, and voilà! A captioned photo is born. 

Check out some before (left) and after (right) shots from the latest Google Glass camera update:

This sky in this landscape shot was blown out in this "before" photo.
With the update, this scene has more balanced light but the foreground got much darker.
This nature scene was way too bright and the background was out of focus.
After the camera update, the sky is darkened and the background is much sharper.
Perhaps the most dramatic example from Google is this shadowed foreground scene.
The update adds a whole new dimension to the shot, though the foreground remains too dark.
In this dark restaurant, Glass has a hard time taking photos.
The update makes it easier to take photos of your date in low light. (Because nothing says "romance" like a camera on your face.)
This busy scene with artificial light might actually look better without the software update.
With the update's saturation-pumping software, this whole image got a more yellow hue.

Comments

Total comments: 4
neo_nights
By neo_nights (10 months ago)

"(Because nothing says "romance" like a camera on your face.)"

Thanks for that, Lauren! :D

0 upvotes
Anepo
By Anepo (10 months ago)

After the stories about microsoft and google I find it IMPOSSIBLE to believe they are not guilty of helping the US government spy, look at the xbox one, the kinect is ALWAYS ON & google glass? It can ALWAYS watch what you are watching!

0 upvotes
neo_nights
By neo_nights (10 months ago)

I don't understand that kinect paranoia. If that bugs people so much, just put a black tape over the damn thing and it's done!
(unless, of course, you're worried of being recorded while you play. Then... well, the only solution would be not to play Kinect games!)

Comment edited 57 seconds after posting
0 upvotes
MikeNeufeld30
By MikeNeufeld30 (10 months ago)

Awesome article. Ty...

0 upvotes
Total comments: 4
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