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Focos 2.0 uses AI to add portrait mode effects to each photo
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With a new update from Focos, you can turn any photo into a "portrait mode" style image with fully adjustable depth of field, regardless of which camera you took the camera with. It is not entirely magical, but it is cool.

Focos has long been one of the most ambitious apps for editing photos on iOS, giving you control over the depth map of iPhones with two cameras in portrait mode. You can adjust the aperture, simulate different bokeh styles from different lenses, choose different focal points, and so on.

For example, here is a photo of our rabbit photo in portrait mode on an iPhone 8 Plus:


And here it is in Focos, where you can view the depth chart from a different angle and actually add a virtual lamp in 3D space for targeted lighting:


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Here it is turned over to a side view where you can adjust the exact depth of field:


You can even use AR to move your perspective within the depth map in real time.

All of this previously depended on access to in-depth information that Apple made available to developers since iOS 11, meaning Focos only worked with photos taken on two-camera iPhones: the iPhone 7 Plus , 8 Plus, X or XS. Now, Focos 2.0 has just been released and it also works with cameras with one lens.

Focos 2.0 uses machine learning to calculate depth maps for each photo. Developer Patrick Wang tells The edge that his AI engine is based on Apple's CoreML framework and has been trained on a million images. It can be run on any iOS device with a 64-bit processor, meaning the A7 (iPhone 5S) and higher.

In my tests the results are pretty impressive. The AI ‚Äč‚Äčengine continues to stumble over the types of things that often triple double camera systems – fine patterns, overlapping objects, hair, and so on – but in general it's good for regular snapshots.

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Like this, for example:


Focos can calculate a depth map that looks like this:


And that gives you the option to tap anywhere in the photo to select your focus point, such as here:

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The mistakes are of course not hard to see if you look closely. Nobody could or should use this for critical photographic work. But it is a lot of fun to play with and a great example of what can be done with computational photography. It also gives iPhone users with two cameras & # 39; s an option for portrait mode with the regular lens. The iPhone XR with one camera already does that when it detects people in the image, but dual camera iPhones can only use portrait mode with the telecamera, which gives a zoomed perspective and is much less effective in low light.

Focos is usually free, with subscription options that unlock additional lens effects and export full-resolution images. The app constantly pushes what is possible on iOS – this allows you to adjust the aperture for almost a year before Apple, for example, delivered a native version of the feature on the iPhone XS. It is worthwhile to keep looking around to check the current limits of the iOS camera technology.

As for the next step, Wang says he is working on a version of Focos for video to be released this year.