Remember when Microsoft rolled out Photo Fuse, the crazy feature in its Windows Live Photos product that let you swap people’s heads around in in your photos order to get the perfect shot? Well, now there’s an app that does the same thing, and it’s not from Microsoft. It’s from an Israeli-based startup called Macadamia Apps, makers of the new app GroupShot. And it’s live now in the App Store.
There are dozens – no, hundreds – of mobile applications in the iTunes App Store that involve managing, editing or sharing photos. But it’s still pretty rare to find one whose technology is all that impressive. At best, you can add filters or use advanced editing techniques like adjustments to brightness, tint, exposure, or contrast. At worst, you simply use your finger to draw on the photo.
GroupShot, however, does something pretty special. It lets you choose two (or more!) photos from a set of photos from your iPhone’s camera reel, iCloud’s PhotoStream, or from photos snapped directly with the camera. You then rub your finger over the bad part of the photo to mark the faces you want to replace (e.g., people looking away, those who blinked, those who didn’t smile, etc.)
The app will swap out those faces with the better-looking ones from the other photos you selected. GroupShot is even smart enough to pick the best photo to serve as your base on which the new faces are placed. However, if you would prefer to start with a different photo, you simply tap the swap button to select the one you want.
The resulting photo is the perfect picture, where everyone is smiling, facing the camera, and looking their best. It’s magic!
Except, of course, it’s not magic – it’s really complex vision-enabled software working behind the scenes, making things look easier than they truly are. Explains CEO Yair Bar-On, the app’s algorithms have to account for a number of things, including the alignment of different photos (iPhone users don’t use tripods!), where the face ends, where the background is, where the hair is, which photo is better and more. It’s one of the best 99 cents you’ll spend on photo editing apps, I’d wager.
GroupShot is the creation of Bar-On and Gil Megidish, who have formed the company called Macadamia Apps. They have $100,000 in seed funding from an undisclosed investor. Megidish is also the creator of the photo-sharing site Dumpr.net.
The plan is for Macadamia Apps to launch more apps in the image processing space soon, including Android versions. If GroupShot is any indication, these should be pretty impressive.