Apple, the tech giant that sold 46.7 million iPhones in Q3 2017, updated its Clips video editing app with a feature for the iPhone X that lets people shoot a selfie video and replace the background with another environment, or change the selfie to match the background, TechCrunch reported. It also uses the iPhone X’s TrueDepth camera sensors to place the user in a 360-degree experience, per Apple.
Apple is introducing the Clips update along with content to tie in with Disney’s upcoming release of “Star Wars: The Last Jedi.” For earlier models of iPhones without a 3D scanner, the Clips app has new artistic effects that transform videos into the style of an oil painting or charcoal sketch. Apple also added iCloud support so that users can start a project on one device and finish it on another.
In other news, Apple acquired InVisage technologies, a nanotechnology startup that develops imaging technologies for smartphones. The company’s key product is QuantumFilm, which combines software and sensor chips to take better pictures without the best lighting. QuantumFilm absorbs the same amount of light as silicon, but in a layer that is 10x thinner, making it ideal for smartphones.
Cameras have become a key way for handset makers to differentiate their devices from rival models, and imaging technology will only grow more important with broader popularity of augmented reality (AR), which overlays digital images on a real background seen through a smartphone screen. While the iPhone initially popularized selfie-taking, Snapchat was the first to recognize the significant potential to leverage smartphone camera's to provide users with a range of ways to enhance photos and videos. In that sense, Apple and others have been playing catchup with Snapchat. With the latest Clips update and the new iPhone X, Apple is taking camera-based content creation to new heights.
Apple’s Clips apps is an amazing editor that lets users easily splice together images, and add visual effects, titles and a music soundtrack to videos. The 3D sensor technology in the new iPhone X adds even more features, such as being able to change the background of a video selfie without the need for a green screen.
Apple needs to continue innovating its camera technology especially as rivals like Samsung and Google tout their camera features. Google boasted that its recently launched Pixel 2 device has the highest-rated camera of any smartphone with lots of processing power to handle high-definition video, free unlimited storage on Google Photos (with some caveats) and the Google Lens feature to look up information on objects seen through the camera.
The acquisition of InVisage promises to give Apple a stronger foothold in a wider variety of applications. QuantumFilm can be used in internet of things (IoT) applications and to help with authentication, autonomy and mixed reality features in Apple’s mobile devices, per TechCrunch.