When it comes to image capture, Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 8 Gen 3 is all about leveraging artificial intelligence (AI) to its fullest which allows it to push the boundaries of what is considered possible on mobile platforms.
Qualcomm says that the new Snapdragon 8 Gen 3, announced today, is its first mobile platform designed with generative AI in mind as a specific use case for the hardware.
“Snapdragon 8 Gen 3 infuses high-performance AI across the entire system to deliver premium-level performance and extraordinary experiences to consumers. This platform unlocks a new era of generative AI enabling users to generate unique content, help with productivity, and other breakthrough use cases,” Chris Patrick, senior vice president and general manager of mobile handsets at Qualcomm says.
“Each year, we set out to design leading features and technologies that will power our latest Snapdragon 8-series mobile platform and the next generation of flagship Android devices. The Snapdragon 8 Gen 3 delivers.”
While including the capability to power generative AI clearly means the ability to use image generators, and Qualcomm says as much, it also means giving smartphones access to more specific photo and video applications.
For example, the company is building-in what it calls “Photo Expansion,” which is basically the same thing as Adobe’s Generative Expand — photos can be artificially “zoomed out” from their original point to include what the AI believes is a possible additional background.
“Zoom Anyplace,” another new feature, is powered by Samsung’s first 20-megapixel image sensor that has been optimized for Snapdragon and allows capture of multiple videos, object tracking, and 2x and 4x zoom—all in 4K.
But what is perhaps most impressive is what Qualcomm calls Video Magic Eraser, made in concert with ArcSoft. Promising the same overall experience as what is found in smartphones like Google’s Pixel 8 Pro, the Snapdragon 8 Gen 3 is capable of removing subjects from a video so that distracting elements can be removed.
In a demonstration of the technology seen by PetaPixel, the technology looks flawless — as though a subject that enters the frame on the left or right was never there at all. That said, the background didn’t move much — there was no wind or any interference that would be difficult for an AI to replace. In short, it was a result that could have just as easily been done by overlaying a previous section of a clip that didn’t have a distracting element to begin with.
Qualcomm says that it understood the example wasn’t particularly challenging but also promised that it had been used in environments that were more complicated. While PetaPixel hasn’t seen these examples, as with any new technology this capability will start out rougher than it will end up in just a few short years.
Another new feature coming is what Qualcomm calls “Vlogger’s View,” which uses the front-facing and rear-facing cameras simultaneously in a way that works better for “reaction” style content that is popular on Instagram and TikTok. Rather than needing to overlay footage of the reaction onto footage later, it happens in real-time.
Snapdragon 8 Gen 3 is also introducing the ability to capture Dolby Vision HDR photos, which provides over a billion shades of color in a Rec 2020 color gamut in 10-bit color depth. This is the first HDR photo technology from Dolby. While the main issue with HDR — both in photos and videos — is that there are too many standards and not all displays are set up to showcase them all, Dolby Vision is the one that, while proprietary, seems to be getting the most industry buy-in.
Qualcomm is also on-board with image provenance, which is especially important given it is also embracing AI generation. The company is using Truepic photo capture with C2PA standard to embed Truepic’s cryptographic seal to prove the photo is real and not generative AI — if it is, the seal notes it.
The complete details about these and other Snapdragon 8 Gen 3 advances are available on the company’s website.
It’s worth noting that as a chip maker, Qualcomm is only making certain advances possible — it’s not actually saying when the capabilities are going to be in a phone that can be purchased nor is it promising every feature it enables will be there. That said, these capabilities will at least be an option for any smartphone manufacturer who chooses to use Snapdragon 8 Gen 3, which Qualcomm says includes ASUS, Honor, iQOO, MEIZU, NIO, Nubia, OnePlus, OPPO, realme, Redmi, RedMagic, Sony, vivo, Xiaomi, and ZTE.
Image credits: Qualcomm