Pixel camera mastermind, Marc Levoy, joins Adobe to work on a "universal camera app"

Former Google’s Pixel camera mastermind, Marc Levoy, has joined Adobe as “Vice President and Fellow”. Levoy reportedly left Google early in March 2020 and has now taken up the responsibility to build computational photography initiatives with his efforts focused “centered on the concept of a universal camera app” as per the company’s email to The Verge.

While the company did not elaborate on what those efforts entail, it is reported that he will be working on the Photoshop Camera app – that was launched in June – and with the research and Adobe Sensei teams that focus on AI and Analytics. However, it is not clear if the universal camera app that Levoy is helping build is indeed the current Adobe Photoshop Camera or a completely new offering from the company.

Google’s Pixel offerings boast of exceptional computational photography capabilities. In his time at the company, Levoy led the teams that built features such as Night Sight, Portrait Mode, and HDR+. The company held out on adding a secondary lens to its phones as it argued the prowess of its algorithms negated the need for additional hardware. However, rumors suggest that executives at the smartphone division were “unhappy” with the Pixel 4 owing to its poor battery life and other decisions related to the device, which could have resulted in Levoy’s exit.

It will be interesting to see what Adobe plans on offering in the said “universal camera app”. While the current Photoshop Camera app uses AI and machine learning to help users add creative filters, Adobe could very well create a new camera app that leverages advanced image processing algorithms that provide improvements in picture and camera quality across Android and iOS devices.

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