Computer, enhance! Microsoft details image enhancing technology for Edge now in testing

If you've watched lots of crime dramas and movies, you're probably well aware of the cliché where the genius investigator sees an extremely blurry element on a screen; they then ask the support technician to enhance it, and voila, this results in an extremely clear image of the person or object in the photo, revealing it entirely. Well, Microsoft is working on something similar for its Edge browser... kind of.

Spy Kids 3D Juni Cortez zooming in on something with his fancy glasses one shade of which has an Edg

Microsoft's Eric Lawrence has explained in a dedicated blog post that the company has been working on a "SuperRes" or "Enhance Images" technology for Edge. Simply stated, this leverages Microsoft's machine learning service to enhance the quality of the images being displayed in the browser.

As of now, only a small percentage of Edge Stable, Dev, and Canary have the capability enabled through trial flags. You can check if you have it by heading over to edge://flags and enabling Enhance images in Microsoft Edge. Those who do manage to enable it will also see an "HD" icon in the omnibox that they can leverage to toggle image enhancement.

Overall, this machine learning model works on the color, lighting, and contrast of an image in order to make it look better. However, Lawrence has noted that the model is not quite perfect yet. Notably, it does not work that well with PNG images and leaves pink, fuzzy artifacts. It does not cater to the ICCv4 color profiles correctly either.

It is important to note that this image enhancement does not happen locally in the browser. Microsoft uses the Turing Image Super-Resolution model built by the Microsoft Turing team and hosted on the cloud to dynamically improve image quality.

If you're interested in monitoring Edge's communication with this cloud service with this feature enabled through Fiddler, you can refer to Lawrence's blog post here. And if you're more curious about the image enhancement model itself, navigate to Microsoft's dedicated blog here. There's no word yet on when, or if, image enhancement will be generally available for Microsoft Edge customers.

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