Custom AR filters in Instagram
THE TECH CIRCUIT - Yasunari Ramon Suarez Taguchi (The Freeman) - August 21, 2019 - 12:00am

Avid Instagram users were recently in for a treat when the proponents of the world’s biggest photo-video-anchored social media network launched a new tool that allows for the creation of custom augmented reality filters.

Dubbed “Spark AR” and launched over the weekend, the tool links users to a library of animations, sounds and effects that can be mixed-and-matched to create custom filters.

Custom filters made with the tool are stored in “Spark AR’s” library as “projects.” How well-received a “project” is can be monitored by creators with metrics like “total impressions,” “captures” and “shares.”

The tool is still beta, but is accessible to all Instagram users. It can be accessed through the “Browse Effects” panel in Instagram.

The rollout came after the well-received run of a recently concluded limited release phase. More information on “Spark AR” is hosted on Instagram’s official online channels.

New “Spectacles” for 3D content

Snap Inc., the maker of the hit social messaging Snapchat suite, unveiled the latest iteration of its “Spectacles” line over the weekend.

Simply named “Spectacles 3,” the new “wearable camera” model is designed to capture depth and dimension the way human eyes do, as it can capture 3D-oriented content with the use of two HD cameras.

Like previous “Spectacles” versions, the camera can automatically sync captured content to a smartphone, from where users can apply a variety of 3D effects and enhancements before sharing them on Snapchat.

“Spectacles 3” also comes with provisions for on-the-go charging (through its case), but unlike its predecessor, its accessories aren’t waterproof.

The model’s price has also been “upgraded,” as it costs roughly two times more than the second “Spectacles” version. Pre-orders for a pair of “Spectacles 3” can be made via Snap’s web store, for shipping before the end of the year.

Samsung to launch a phone with a 108-megapixel camera

The camera phone VS single-function camera was recently got more heated when word that a smartphone with a 108-megapixel camera by Samsung is on the works.

Discussed in an announcement issued by Samsung last week, the brand revealed that it has developed a 108-megapixel smartphone camera sensor that can shoot high resolution images even in low-light conditions.

Dubbed “ISOCELL Bright HMX,” the sensor developed by Samsung in partnership with Xiaomi Corp. has an over 100 million effective pixel range that allows it to take sharp photographs that are comparably as crisp as those taken by high-end DSLRs. The sensor can also be used to record videos with no field-of-view losses at resolutions of up to 6K at 30 frames per second.

Basically, these specifications set the sensor’s capabilities to be comparably at par with single-function cameras – mirrorless models or otherwise.

The brand first announced the “ISOCELL” line in 2013 – a sensor line that’s designed to reduce color-cross overlapping between pixels.

It has since upgraded the line with updates that have, one way or another, sparked discussions on the practical points in getting a single-function camera over a smartphone that’s powered by an “ISOCELL” sensor.

The brand has scheduled for the mass production of the sensor late this month, hinting that a phone with the sensor may be made available by the end of 2019 or by early 2020.

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