Hands-on with Imint’s Vidhance Software: Powerful Video Stabilization!
Even if you consider yourself very in tune with what’s going on in the smartphone space, there’s a good chance you haven’t heard of a company like Imint before. Not every smartphone company can be like Apple, Samsung, or Huawei and develop almost all of their own technology in-house, and even the big 3 that we just mentioned still often license technology from third-parties. Imint is one such company that develops and licenses software to smartphone makers, many of whom you’re probably familiar with, including ASUS, Motorola, Xiaomi, Vivo, Huawei, OnePlus, OPPO, HMD Global, and many others. The company’s signature Vidhance suite is comprised of various camera tech that enables some of the best stabilization I’ve seen on any phone, ever.
Imint is a Swedish company that was founded in 2007 and currently develops and licenses the Vidhance SDK, a software development kit for chipset vendors and smartphone device makers to integrate Imint’s video enhancement technologies. Back in February, Imint announced two new additions to their Vidhance software suite: Selfie Mode and Super Stabilization. Selfie Mode is designed to keep your face in the frame when you’re recording a video from the front-facing camera, whereas Super Stabilization uses wide-angle and high-resolution cameras to stabilize videos with excessive motion in them. Both of these features have been optimized to run on the Spectra 480 ISP in the Qualcomm Snapdragon 865, and they’re both already shipping on the new Motorola Moto Edge+.
In order to demo Imint’s Vidhance software, Imint sent me two Pixel 2 devices running a customized version of Android with Imint’s software baked in. The two phones came pre-installed with 3 different apps: Stabilization, Live Composer, and Auto Zoning. In the video below, I go through the different options, show off some of the settings, and do a demo of each of the apps.
Stabilization is, of course, designed to produce a super stable video. With it enabled, I found the video stabilization to be much better than the phone’s OIS alone. (Since both phones sent to me were running a modified AOSP ROM, I couldn’t test the standard Google Camera app with Google’s Fused Video Stabilization [OIS+EIS] to compare.) Still, the results speak for themselves: Vidhance stabilization does an incredible job stabilizing video from the rear camera. Front-facing video is even more impressive in this case because on many phones, there is no OIS on the front camera. That means without any software stabilization, front-facing video can get really shaky.
Next is Auto Zoning and this is what I think is the most impressive feature. With Auto Zoning, you can zone in on a specific area and keep that area in focus even as you move the camera around. For example, you could be panning your phone around in a park, but as long as the area you have selected is in sight of the camera, it will always be cropped in on that one area.
Next is Live Composer, which basically allows for super-smooth zooming. While it might not sound like a huge deal (and it really isn’t), it’s really neat to just play around with. It’s something that will take you by surprise when you realize just how choppy zooming in on most smartphones can be.
While all of these features seem impressive, keep in mind that they aren’t just available for you to download with an app. Imint licenses this technology for OEMs to use in their smartphones. There’s no easy way to tell which of Imint’s Vidhance features are being used in any particular smartphone, either, as OEMs usually don’t bother (or rather, prefer not to) list what technologies they’re licensing. At least for the Motorola Moto Edge+, we know it supports a couple of new Vidhance features including Video Stabilization, Horizon Correction, Dynamic Blur Reduction, and Field of View Correction. Even though I haven’t had the chance to try these features out on a commercially available device, I’m really impressed by what I’ve seen on the demo Pixel 2 units that Imint loaned me.