Another use for dual-core phone chips: Awesome photos

Multi-core chips in smartphones don’t just make the handsets faster; they bring useful new features that couldn’t easily exist without the extra processing power. Take the simple and fairly ubiquitous example of snapping a picture, for example. Faster mobile chips can turn the experience from a “point, shoot, and hope you got a good shot” into a smarter snap that nearly guarantees the perfect picture. Earlier this month at Qualcomm’s (s qcom) Uplinq conference, Scalado showed off its software that does just that, when paired with an advanced smartphone chip.

This video demonstration from the Android And Me enthusiast site illustrates how Scalado’s software, known as Rewind, works for group shots. Instead of hoping that everyone is wide-eyed and smiling when tapping the shutter button, the software uses a burst mode to capture five successive images in quick succession. To do this, a peppy processor is needed for the fast image capture. Once the picture is taken, the software uses facial recognition to zero in on each member of the group; tapping a face in the picture creates a circular control around the person’s image. A turn of the circle scrolls through all five images of the group member’s face so the best one can be chosen and seamlessly stitched into the final image.


Scalado’s solution applies to standard photos as well because no matter how fast you tap the shutter button on your smartphone’s camera, you don’t always get the perfect shot. Using a similar burst mode concept, Scalado’s app can take two images before you press the shutter button as it can constantly monitor images when the camera app is running. Tapping the shutter snaps the prior two image scans, the one during the button press and two more immediately after that, offering five image captures of the scene to choose from and save.

Since the software requires an advanced mobile phone processor and can enhance native camera functionality, Scalado is looking at handset makers to implement its camera solution. That means it’s likely to be an included feature on a smartphone, not a camera application that consumers can buy as a separate mobile application. Given that, the company has partnered with Qualcomm, I’d expect the software to first appear on handsets from HTC and HP (s hpq) as both companies power their current and upcoming smartphones with Qualcomm Snapdragon chips.