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Vivo unveils new imaging chipset, phone lens, and generative AI photography technologies

By Liu Hongzuo - on 31 Jul 2023, 6:33pm

Vivo unveils new imaging chipset, phone lens, and generative AI photography technologies

Vivo's special Vivo Imaging Conference on 30 July 2023.

Vivo held a special Vivo Imaging Conference in Xining, China on 30 July 2023, where it showcased new technologies that will go into the Chinese brand’s future smartphones. Here’s a summary of what’s announced.

V3 imaging chipset and new algorithms

Vivo's V3 image signalling processor, a dedicated chipset for photography and videography on mobile phones.

Vivo developed a new V3 chipset — a dedicated 6nm processor for processing images shot on its future smartphones. Its core feature is 4K resolution, “cinema-quality” portrait video recording with built-in post-processing functions, made possible by its artificial intelligence image signal processing and second-generation Frame Info Tunnel technologies.

Vivo also announced a new version of its Origin Imaging Engine (VOIE), a composite algorithm matrix solution responsible for image quality, colour, tone, and image computing functionality. This solution is the underlying technology that powers the built-in digital enhancements to photos and videos taken on Vivo mobile devices with the V3 chipset. 

The algorithm consists of three sub-modules: colour restoration engine, Ultra HD engine, and accelerated computing engine. Further to this algorithm are the new Hyper-Sense Portrait System and Vast-Sky Night System, which enhance portraitures and night shots, respectively (we’ve covered more information about these two systems under the Generative AI summary below).

ZEISS Vario-Apo-Sonnar periscope lens

ZEISS collaboration for Vario-Apo-Sonnar lens on periscope cameras.

Vivo and ZEISS jointly announced a new Vario-Apo-Sonnar periscope lens for mobile devices, co-developed by both firms. The APO design (which stands for apochromatic lens) from ZEISS has been adopted for mobile imaging, providing what Vivo claimed is “a high-performance zoom quality”. 

To our knowledge, an apochromatic lens is capable of better chromatic and spherical aberration, which prevents the natural phenomenon of different colours from coming into focus at different focusing distances. Applying an apo lens to a periscope configuration improves colour accuracy across a wider zoom range. This is necessary due to the optical zoom nature of floating lens elements in periscope lens designs.

Further enhancements are an anti-reflective T* Coating by ZEISS on its optics applied using Multi-ALD (atomic layer deposition) techniques to enhance clarity and reduce reflectivity on the visible light spectrum. Compared to previous generations of coating, this combination of T* and Multi-ALD can further reduce reflectiveness by another 50%.

Generative AI lab for 3D human portraitures

Using generative AI to create 3D hyper-realistic versions of selfies.

Vivo’s next step in improving photos of people is to research and develop 3D portraiture technology, with 3D facial reconstruction.

The brand created a 3D imaging laboratory with proprietary optical field systems to that end. The lab captures and recreates delicate 3D models of real people and faces to produce hyper-realistic versions for virtual content. According to Vivo, this technology (Hyper-Sense Portrait System) can capture precise facial expressions, body postures, and gestures.

Vivo said it created this technology with three use cases in mind: generative AI portrait styles, editing, and special effects. In short, users will ultimately be able to take their 3D models and post-process them, reconstruct them, and manipulate them into photos or 3D environments. These use cases are collectively called Hyper-Sense Portrait System 

Vivo also developed a new True Colour Night AI model for its Vast-Sky Night System, which enhances adaptive tone and colour to work on high-contrast night scenes. In short, it’s an HDR solution made for night shots, made to preserve colour despite the high dynamic range and saturation seen at night through lenses.

Vivo said it would work together with Adobe, Apple, and Google to reach standardisation on HDR to overcome inconsistency in displaying HDR images on different devices. It also added it’s the only Chinese company involved in developing an ISO standard for HDR photos.

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