Meeting new needs for front camera video stabilization on smartphones

When comparing, measuring and discussing smartphone cameras, the focus has been on the rear camera for many years. The rear camera was usually used more, had many more megapixels and sensors, packing more overall power. Video stabilization solutions followed this trend of focusing on the rear camera, leaving the front camera as almost an afterthought. But this is changing rapidly due to multiple trends in society at large. This article will dig deeper into these trends and illustrate how demand for improved front camera video quality can be met with solutions such as Selfie Mode, which we have incorporated into our Vidhance video enhancement platform.

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The trends driving increased front camera use

We were already becoming an increasingly video-centric and mobile-centric society before the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020. An increasingly large number of people could not interact in person, in both their personal and professional lives. This led to an explosion in video conferencing, especially using mobile devices like smartphones. In parallel, we’re seeing a generation that grew up with social media and selfies come of age. Combined with the general increase in the popularity of videos, this is also driving an increase in selfie videos as opposed to only still selfies.

The emergence of 5G is also playing a role in driving front camera video use by making it possible to video conference on mobile with higher and more reliability quality. Previously, bandwidth and data limitations may have made people reluctant to share their selfie videos when not at home with access to WiFi and local storage. With 5G, it’s also increasingly becoming possible to share, send and post large, long and high-quality video files quickly and easily on the go. Another interesting trend set to take off is dual capture, the simultaneous use of the front and rear cameras. Dual capture use cases include creating video commentaries and showing reactions to vacations, celebrations and other important moments in life.

New challenges for front camera video stabilization

As opposed to the rear camera, which can be used to take pictures and videos of almost anything imaginable, the user’s face is naturally almost always the focus of the front camera. Facial recognition has been used successfully for years to optimize still selfie photos, but front camera videos could still sometimes leave the feed shaky or the face out of focus. To compensate for artefacts in front camera video, we could see we would need to take a cue from the facial recognition algorithms used for still selfies.

To go hand in hand with the 5G-driven trend of streaming and sharing high-quality front camera video footage on the fly, we needed to ensure the optimum compression ratio used with video stabilization. Coordinating and balancing front and rear camera video stabilization is also crucial or else it might seem odd if they are out of sync when used simultaneously. This is needed to create a seamless and pleasant video experience as smartphones increasingly begin to provide this capability.

Vidhance Selfie Mode – the beginning of a new era

Vidhance Selfie Mode is a major part of our answer to these new challenges for front camera video stabilization. By leveraging the latest in facial recognition and machine learning, Selfie Mode keeps the user’s face centered in the video frame. It is even effective when the person is moving frequently in low-light conditions. And yet Selfie Mode is just the beginning of our cutting-edge development efforts to meet the needs of a new era of front video camera use in society.

We’re also continuously improving our video enhancement platform, Vidhance, by fine-tuning our video stabilization algorithms and adding more new features. With increased customization flexibility and more advanced compression, we will be able to adapt files sizes for rapid sharing and transmission, regardless whether for smartphone selfie videos or for drone footage in the 5G world. Our next-gen video stabilization algorithms will also be increasingly optimized for simultaneous front and rear camera use.

For an example of a flagship smartphone using Selfie Mode, read about the Motorola Moto G 100 and get your hands on one or book a demo to see for yourself. For inspiration, insights and best practices for the next generation of video stabilization, enter your email address below and subscribe to our newsletter. 

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