Big changes are coming to your phone's smartphone camera next year, with Qualcomm previewing an update to its image signal processor (ISP) that will better support features like face recognition and mixed reality. Qualcomm's Spectra ISP is a part of the Snapdragon system on chip that's a popular mobile processor platform for many Android phones. While the next major Snapdragon update won't arrive until next year, the changes planned for the Spectra ISP have major implications not just for the cameras on 2018 Android phones but for virtual- and augmented reality headsets as well. That's because the next version of the Spectra ISP introduces a new architecture to support advances in image quality, image recognition and power efficiency. Specifically, Qualcomm is promising that its new camera module will feature improved biometric sensing for detecting people's faces and support for depth sensing that can power mixed reality features for smartphones and headsets.
Until now, creative minds have been human. But IBM's Watson, not content to use its computing power solely to cure cancer or cook you dinner, has added filmmaking to its repertoire. The cognitive computer turned up at the Tribeca Film Festival to do what so many in the industry were doing there: networking with peers to get ideas for new projects. IBM used the festival to kick off its Storytellers With Watson competition, which calls on creative types to submit a one-minute video that details how they believe Watson can assist them with telling stories through film, web content, gaming, augmented reality, or virtual reality. To generate ideas, IBM held an event in New York City last week to demo some of Watson's most creative work, like making a chilling trailer (below) for the AI horror movie Morgan and artistic contributions to an Alex Da Kid song.