San Francisco -- Ever wondered how easy it would be to edit images if your application could actually heed to your voice command? Photo editing is getting easier thanks to the likes of Siri and Google Now, smartphone and tablet users are becoming more and more able to control their devices using only their voice. But Adobe--the makers of popular graphic application Photoshop--are working with the University of Michigan to develop an extremely intelligent photo editing app that simply let you talk to your app and tell it how exactly you want a photo to look like.
People use extensive tools and spend hours trying to create that perfect image, but according to a latest discovery by the University of Michigan School of Information Masters student Gierad Laput, who as part of an internship at Adobe, helped create PixelTone, a voice controlled imaging editing app.
Now say hello to PixelTone, the prototype app that is set to be presented in May at the ACM CHI (Computer-Human Interaction) conference in Paris. Developed in collaboration between Adobe and the University of Michigan that will simply follow your voice instructions in tandem with certain actions to help you edit images just the way you want them. They call the app 'A multimodal interface for image editing.'
Need to make the sky in a photo a little darker? Just by parsing natural language, the app allows users of varying levels of skill to automatically edit their photos. Simply tell the PixelTone app to darken the top half of your image, it is that easy. It works with common photo editing terminology, but also more general terms for those who are not experienced with Photoshop.
That means you can instruct the app with a slightly more specific commands like “darken the mid-tones at the top” or “increase the contrast”, or combine commands with touch controls like “blur in this direction”. In fact, it is a kind of like having your own full-time photo editor on hand, except the PixelTone app would not roll its eyes and sigh when you keep asking it for tweaks.
However, it does recognizes gestures so you can be even more specific with your requests. For instance, you can tap on someone's face and give them a name, and the app's facial recognition will limit edits to only the person you specify. It also does its best to estimate how intense you want a filter or an effect applied, but for each action you are given an on-screen slider to fine tune its intensity.
Apparently, where it gets really fascinating is using less specific terms. The video shows a user telling PixelTone to “make it heavenly” or “make it retro” for one touch filters. Or assigning names to people and objects, and editing just them.
Eventually, this more natural take on interaction will make photo tweaking far more straightforward for entry-level users. And while it mostly seems like a research project for Adobe at this moment, it is not clear when and if Adobe will bring this app to the public, but keep your eyes peeled for PixelTone's debut.