App gives smartphone snaps more than 5 million different filters

I’m feeling blue today (Image: Infltr)

FEEL limited by Instagram’s 30 filters? Try 5 million. A new iOS app called Infltr taps into a smartphone’s graphics processor (GPU) to generate filters on the fly, allowing for the perfect shot in one step.

It’s the idea of London-based software developer Philippe Levieux, who realised that he could harness a smartphone’s processing power to create live filters. He and colleagues use the GPU to change the colour of every pixel on screen in real time, as you are taking the shot, relying on techniques from game development to create Infltr’s 5,120,000 filters.

Choosing one filter from 5 million with an interface like Instagram’s would be near impossible, so Levieux and colleagues Tamara Sword and Nick Pelling tried another way. Each filter is mapped to a point on the screen that allows you to swipe around to quickly choose the best one as you frame the picture, with the image changing accordingly.

This may allow “filter” to join “focus” and “exposure” as fundamental photography terms, but only if Infltr is easy to use. “It is hard to predict the cultural demand for such an approach,” says Dan Raviv of the camera culture unit at MIT in Boston. “But this app will be a success if that swipe-based user interface makes the process of choosing the filters enjoyable and not burdensome.”

By Paul Marks

Magazine issue 3036 published

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