Adobe just released a new AI-powered smartphone camera app that edits photos in seconds, Adobe's CTO explains why

Adobe
  • Adobe is releasing a new smartphone app called Photoshop camera, that relies on artificial intelligence to edit photos automatically.
  • Adobe’s CTO Abhay Parasnis said the app is powered by AI that Adobe has been able to develop from decades of experience with their flagship Photoshop editing software.
  • Parasnis said Adobe saw that hardware for smartphone cameras was getting better every year, but the software was not keeping up.
  • The app is free and available for limited release today and will be publicly available in early 2020.
  • Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.

Adobe made its name as the photo editing tool of choice for desktop computers. Now it’s banking on the smartphone camera.

On Monday, Adobe released a new smartphone app called Photoshop (Ps) Camera. The free app uses artificial intelligence to add special effects and enhancements to the range of pictures that people take on their phones everyday, from sunsets to selfies.

Adobe’s CTO Abhay Parasnis said Adobe saw that hardware for smartphone cameras was getting better every year, but that the software was not keeping up.

“We felt that we had some very unique perspective and IP in the camera space that if we could build a dedicated camera app we could deliver directly to the point of capture,” Parasnis told Business Insider.

Photoshop camera is a free camera app available for iOS and Android operating systems that allows users to both take photos and edit photos. It has fun filters that are similar to those found on Snapchat and Instagram stories, and lens that allow users to edit photos in a way they’d be able to in Photoshop.

Parasnis said all of that is powered by AI that Adobe has been able to develop from decades of experience with its flagship Photoshop editing software. The company’s AI has been able to learn from the tools available in Photoshop to make some of those edits automatic.

In a demo with Business Insider, Adobe demonstrated how the app can detect if a photo has faces, a landscape, food or something else and apply appropriate filters, while also suggesting other lenses for the photo based on what it is capturing. It also was able to adjust the lighting and exposure of the photo automatically once it was taken or imported into the app.

“The consumer just thinks he or she is taking a picture and applying a lens, behind the scenes we do non-destructive editing, so everything you can do in a high end editing tool like Photoshop I can control [in the app],” Parasnis said.

There are already numerous apps to help take photos using the smartphone camera with added lenses and filters, like Instagram, Snapchat. Not to mention many smartphones are adding photo editing tools right into the default camera application, and each new smartphone has more advanced hardware for the camera itself.

Parasnis said the crowded competitive landscape doesn’t worry him. He thinks consumers will use Adobe’s Photoshop camera app because of the added value it offers consumers who want new ways to express themselves.

“We’re not really trying to push people away from their default camera here,” Parasnis said. “We are very comfortable that people will use their default camera, this is for people who want that additional level of creativity.”

The app also connects to Adobe Creative Cloud on desktops and iPads, so users can send photos they take in the app directly to Photoshop on another device. Parasnis said Adobe is betting that this will help drive more customer growth for its Creative Cloud offerings.

The app is available for limited release Monday and will be publicly available in early 2020. Adobe is also partnering with artists, like musician Billie Eilish, to create custom filters for the app.

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