As the camera systems on smartphones drastically improve year by year, they still have one glaring issue, capturing and processing Black skin tones properly. During its I/O 2021 keynote, Google announced it was taking some steps to rectify this problem.
Capturing Black skin and natural hairstyles in photos and properly processing them has been an issue dating back to when using film was the only option for photographers. Now that we are in the digital age, there have been some improvements, but even with flicks taken on smartphones, the images are still come up flat.
Google is well aware of the issue and revealed that it would be making a valiant effort to address the issue in its cameras by focusing on photos of Black and Brown subjects and making them “more beautiful and more accurate.” Google announced that these changes would be coming to its Pixel smartphones later this fall, and it promised to share what it learns across the broader Android ecosystem as well.
Google says it will address the issue by making significant changes to its auto-white balance and exposure algorithm to help improve the accuracy for darker skin tones based on data set of images that contain Black and Brown faces. Google hopes this will help with the “over-brightening and de-saturating” of people of color in photos leading to more accurate photos. In a video Google shared during its announcement, the tech giant enlisted the help of many Black and Brown creatives to ensure that the issue is resolved.
Google also announced that improvements to the selfie camera’s portrait mode would give it “a more accurate depth map for curly and wavy hair types” instead of cutting around the subject in the photo’s hair.
We love to hear it.
Peep the announcement video below.
Photo: Vladimir Vladimirov / Getty