Mobile Vision: iPhone Apps Employ Computer Vision and Image Processing Techs

There are around 10,000 applications from third-party developers for Apple iPhones by the end of 2008. Among them, there are a number of camera/photo-related applications for you to play with. You will be amazed by how computer vision and image processing technologies could deliver you astonishing visual effects and fun, even with a 2MP mobile camera. Some of them offers a set of image editing functionalities like Adobe Photoshop,  such as image enhancement, image filtering, image/video editing, etc. Others use more advanced and complex computer vision technologies, such as object detection/recognition and image retrieval. Here we will review some of the top computer vision apps for iPhone and their core technologies.



  • Mobile PhotoShop with Basic Image Editing Tools: If you are a digital photographer, you will understand the importance of post-processing for digital photography. SP Photo Fix provides a set of basic photo editing tools to make your pictures better, such as brightness, contrast, sharpness, hue or saturation editing. Photo Lab also enhances pictures using some artistic filters, such as pencil with color, sculpture, stencil, etc.  Photogene offers histogram equalization functionality. Other similar applications include Picoli, PhotoWizard, PhotoArtist, Photonasis, and so on.



  • Low light photography: by “Night Camera” and “SteadyCam“: The built-in accelerometer in iPhone is exploited to trigger camera shutter when it detects the camera being stable. It is a powerful tool for night photography.

  • Wok with Faces

Face Melter: Here is a description from iTunes store,

The PC has Kais Power Goo, Photoshop has Liquify, the Mac has Photo Booth and now the iPhone has “face Melter”. Face Melter is the ultimate application to generate facial expressions out of your pictures from your family and friends.

Image warping technique is used to generate the funny effects. Other similar applications include FWARP! – Face Warp, GooeyFaces.

Morph 123: Image morphing technique is used to morph one face image to another. We had a previous post on this technology in making 3D greeting cards.

FaceDouble: Find which celebrity you look like using your photo.

XmasCamera: Face is automatically detected in your photo, and you can select Christmas items (e.g., red hat) to add on the picture.  It seems that the face detection algorithm is still slow for this app.

Halloween Pumpkinizer: Blending your face with a pumpkin to synthesize interesting images.


  • Panoramic images by PanoLab and TripStitch: It is a powerful tool to generate panoramas from multiple images by iPhone. Similar iPhone applications include Pano, and Panorama.
  • Visual Search
  • LikeThis by move its visual search functions to iPhone. Please read our previous post to see how it works. 


  • Advanced Editing Tools: Magic Touch provides most complex image editing tools, such as Eraser, Paint in Erased, Behind Erased, etc., to make your photos more beautiful.
  • Video Surveillance: iPhone apps are also developed for security applications for IP based surveillance cameras. They enable users to remotely view videos and control cameras. Such applications include iRa by Lextech Labs, Cam Viewer, VideoSphere Pocket, iDoControl, etc.
  • This is just a start of mobile vision. With the wide use of embedded camera and increasing processing capabilities of mobile devices, we believe more complex computer vision technologies will provide more interesting applications in the future.

    1 Comment

    Other Links to this Post

    RSS feed for comments on this post. TrackBack URI

    Leave a comment