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Using AI to add depth to your photos

A plain vanilla 2D photo can be transformed into a 3D one applying artificial intelligence algorithms. Image credit: Surabhi-Gupta processed with LucidPix

LucidPix has announced the testing of their new App based on artificial intelligence that will allow the creation of a 3D image (or better, the perception of a 3D image) starting from a plain vanilla photo you have taken with your smartphone.
The app is not available yet, it should be released in the second quarter of 2020. It is currently being tested by a few thousands people and you can register on their website to be notified when te app will be available to general download.

LucidPix has released some time ago an app to let people take 3D photos using their smartphone.  The taking of 3D photos used to require (and still does today) very complex machinery and good skill, plus plenty of software to manage the photos and stitching them together in a 3D file. LucidPix app, on the contrary, does a good job in letting any person take a 3D image as easily as it takes a normal photo. The result, as you might expect, is not au pair with a 3D photo taken by professionals but for most people it will do pretty well.

The new up takes 3D photography to a new level of simplicity by just using a 2D photo and working on it using artificial intelligence. In a way, the approach is similar to the one used by Photoshop, Luminar and other photo editing application. You can delete a small part in a photo, like a road signpost that disturb the photo and the application will replace that with some imaginary content that may fit with the rest of the photo, to the point that most of the time you won’t notice the change.

The artificial intelligence algorithm in LucidPix AI does basically the same. By looking at what is well focussed and what is not it can calculate the depth of the various parts of an image (the distance of each pixel from the camera) and then extend the edges of objects in the third dimension so that when you change your point of view by moving your finger (or mouse) over a photo the image rotates giving you the impression of looking at a 3D image. The extension is obviously fake, but it feels real enough to get you the 3D perception.

About Roberto Saracco

Roberto Saracco fell in love with technology and its implications long time ago. His background is in math and computer science. Until April 2017 he led the EIT Digital Italian Node and then was head of the Industrial Doctoral School of EIT Digital up to September 2018. Previously, up to December 2011 he was the Director of the Telecom Italia Future Centre in Venice, looking at the interplay of technology evolution, economics and society. At the turn of the century he led a World Bank-Infodev project to stimulate entrepreneurship in Latin America. He is a senior member of IEEE where he leads the Industry Advisory Board within the Future Directions Committee and co-chairs the Digital Reality Initiative. He teaches a Master course on Technology Forecasting and Market impact at the University of Trento. He has published over 100 papers in journals and magazines and 14 books.