Huawei Mate 10 May Debut “Object Recognition” & “Makeup” Camera Modes
While much of the tech press’ attention is focused on Google’s upcoming October 4th reveal of the Google Pixel 2 and Google Pixel 2XL, Huawei is set to unveil the next big thing in the Mate lineup: the Huawei Mate 10. Thanks to previous leaks we have a good idea of its specifications and what it may look like, but apart from some generic teasers and theoretical capabilities of its HiSilicon Kirin 970 SoC we don’t have many details about its software. Huawei, like Samsung and Xiaomi, is known for packing their devices with a plethora of different features in a software flavor known as EMUI. The Huawei Mate 10 will be no different as we believe that device will debut two new camera mode features: “makeup” and “object recognition.”
Hints of these features can be found on the system firmware of existing Huawei devices such as the Huawei Mate 9, but these features are disabled in the camera app. This is true even for devices running the latest public release of EMUI—version 5.1. But we have reason to believe that these features will be enabled in the Huawei Mate 10 as we have obtained access to a pre-release system firmware of the device.
Unfortunately, we cannot confirm if these features are indeed enabled on a live production device, and Huawei’s framework modifications make it exceedingly difficult to analyze their APK files. Nonetheless, we were able to dig into the release, and given what is already known about the upcoming Mate 10 we are fairly confident in our findings.
With the rising popularity of smartphone assistants powered by machine learning, it seems that every company is attempting to create their own version with distinct features enabled by natural language processing and computer vision. There’s Samsung Bixby and the soon-to-be-launched Google Lens, but it’s evident from Huawei’s (rather overdramatic) marketing that they are going all in on AI as well.
— Huawei Mobile (@HuaweiMobile) September 29, 2017
But marketing aside, how exactly would Huawei use AI to make your life better? Through more features, of course! And it appears that object recognition in the camera app will be an added mode that users can select.
As you can see above, the user is prompted to select an area of interest in the viewfinder. The Mate 10’s AI would then determine what kind of object the user is focusing on. We dug around in the system firmware and potentially found a list of categories that the object recognition feature uses:
These categories were located in a file called
IC_conv_112x112_synset_words.txt under the ImageClassification folder (a directory not present in the system firmware of the Mate 9 or P10). Interestingly, the folder containing this particular file is called “caffe”, which most likely refers to the open source deep learning developed by Berkeley AI Research. You may have heard of Caffe2, which is an evolution of Caffe and is supported on newer Qualcomm Snapdragon SoCs.
Given Huawei’s increased marketing of the Mate 10’s AI capabilities, it makes perfect sense for them to debut this new object recognition feature. We just hope that, if it does happen, their live demonstration doesn’t mess up.
Like the “beauty” feature found on many smartphones sold in China, this makeup feature is presumably designed to allow users to change their complexion prior to taking a picture. We aren’t quite sure why this feature isn’t already enabled on existing devices, but it’s possible that it just wasn’t ready by the time that the Huawei Mate 10 or Huawei P10 were set to be released.
We will be doing more digging over the coming days to bring you more information about the upcoming Huawei Mate 10’s software. Stay up to date with the latest news on the XDA Portal by downloading the XDA Labs app.
The firmware was discovered by FunkyHuawei, a service which lets you install pre-release Huawei firmwares, and recover bricked devices.