Matrix-Like Photo Apps Capture Planets, Bullet Time

Planet view turns even the most hideous industrial landscape into a beautiful paradise. With factories

BARCELONA, MOBILE WORLD CONGRESS 2012 — Scalado, most recently seen removing people from photos like a cold-war-era dictatorship, today showed me some of its other fancy photo-processing apps. Scattered across Android, Windows Phone and Symbian, but mostly Android, there is an embarrassment of cleverness in fast photo processing.

The Removal software is neat enough: you snap a photo of somebody in a busy place and the camera runs for five or ten seconds. Then, it compares the batch of photos it has captured to work out what is moving and what isn’t. It will then erase just the milling crowds, leaving just your subject and the tourist attraction behind them.

Also impressive is the panorama app, which automatically snaps pictures to and stitches them as you wave the phone around. It is tied to the accelerometer and gyroscope so it knows just where it is pointing, and can make a 360˚ pano in seconds.

The playback is even cooler. You can view as a panorama, a fisheye, or in planet mode, seen here. It’s fun. Also in the demo was this bullet-time effect, which is captured by scanning the phone around your subject’s head.


Scalado is in talks with just about every phone maker and carrier out there. Some chip makers are building in support at a low level, and in this case the apps process their images crazy fast.

Fun fact: Scalado was the first company to put a pano feature into a phone, way back in the dark days of the early 1990s. It was the Sony Ericsson T610. I had one and never even knew.