A new report shows that the software used by Google for the Pixel smartphones was initially designed for the Google Glass. Everybody agrees that the Google Pixel and the Pixel XL have great cameras, but most of this quality is due, in fact, to the software. Currently, the Pixel camera is the one with the highest marks on DxOMark, for example, having great results both during the day and during low-light conditions.
The magic of software
The 12.3 MP camera on the phone is truly amazing, but part of this magic is the software behind. It is indeed a surprise and a reason for wonder to find out that the software used for the camera was initially intended for Google Glass. The Gcam, as the software is known, was created in 2011 at Alphabet in the X Division.
How does it work?
The team of developers there had to come up with a camera sensor that was both small and qualitative, which is not an easy task. Moreover, the sensor had to be just as good as any other smartphone sensors. To this purpose, they created the Gcam software that would help the hardware. The software was taught how to take various shots, to put them together and then offer a great photo in the end.
After they used the software for the Google Glass, the team started using it for the Nexus 5 and 6 too, naming it HDR+. Now the Pixel phones use this Gcam HDR+ feature as the default mode for their camera, and this is the reason why the pictures look great.
As future plans, the team might use it to make some improvements to the white balance, as well as to the image background, or to reduce the blur effect on pictures. But we will have to wait for the Pixel 2 smartphones and see!