Google recently released the latest Pixel handsets, and one of the standout features was Magic Eraser. It essentially removes unwanted objects from your images and replaces them to look like the background on the Pixel 6. Magic, right?
What that description lacks is any context around the parts of Google’s new handsets that power this awesome feature. For that, let’s turn to the master of techtube, Marques Brownlee.
In a 20 second video posted to Twitter this week he shows off Magic Eraser in action, using it to remove an unwanted trail sign, that was blemishing an otherwise pristine shot of a cliff edge.
To remove it, all he did was tap on edit while looking at the photo in Google Photos, then on Magic Eraser, and drew around the edges of the sign with his thumb.
The Pixel 6 then put the custom Tensor chip inside to work, using a bevy of Machine Learning (ML) tools to first do edge detection to find the edges of the sign, then object recognition to know that’s the thing he wanted removing and then finally used content-aware fill to repaint the selected area so instead of a sign, it looked just like the rocks that were behind the sign.
That’s a lot of ridiculously complicated ML, all done on-device without sending any data to powerful servers, to remove an unwanted part of an image that would have taken far longer to remove with professional tools.
It really is impressive that all of this power can be in a device small enough to fit in our pocket. Will this be enough to make the Pixel 6 the first Google handset to sell decently? We’ll find out soon since it releases in two days.
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