A lot of photo editing apps are launched every month on both the major smartphone platforms but disappear after a while because they don’t bring anything new to the table. However, this new app from Russia, called Prisma, seems to trump all the others and will probably be here for a while. It uses artificial intelligence and deep learning algorithms to turn photos in very beautiful pieces of digital art.
Prisma only offers editing in terms of filters, nothing else, but it is filters-game is way better than Instagram or anything else. There are more than 30 filters present in the app right now and all of them are based on either styles of major artists like Van Gogh, Picasso, Levitan or world famous patterns.
The process of applying filters to your photos in Prisma is also very simple. Snap or choose your photo, select an ‘art filter’ to be applied and then wait as the app works its algorithmic magic — returning your stylized image in a couple of seconds. At the end, it also gives the options to share the stylized picture on major social media platforms.
Prisma was only launched about two weeks ago on iOS and it has already gathered about 3 million downloads. Alexey Moiseenkov, CEO and co-founder of the app, attributes its success to social media sharing.
“A lot of people share photos with a hashtag. I don’t know how they find our hashtag — it’s magic I think,” jokes Moiseenkov while talking to TechCrunch. “For one day, the first day of launch, we create about 30,000 photos in Instagram. And it was like in a boom! And after this day the hashtag was ours.” Currently, there are about half a million photos on Instagram tagged with #Prisma. The app also puts a small watermark on the bottom right corner of each photos if you directly share it to social media otherwise the watermark can be avoided if you save it to your photo album first.
Prisma’s developers plan on adding about two new filters every day to keep it interesting. The main aim behind this approach is to keep the pictures edited Primsa from looking stale. The CEO also revealed the plans of bringing the same filter magic to videos as well Boomerang-styled small looping videos.
Since the editing of the photos in Prisma requires considerable amount of processing power, all of it is done in the cloud on Prisma’s servers. However, the company notes that they are not retaining user’s photos.
“We are not storing the [original] photos. We don’t know who sent photos, we don’t know the photo itself because it’s in a non-readable format for us. We only store for result for some time because if the network is very bad we want to reconnect and give the result to the phone,” Moiseenkov says.
Talking about the process of applying the filter, company’s CEO says that the Prisma filters are not overlays like Instagram filters but the AI and deep learning algorithms on the servers take information from source photos and create a new photo on a completely bland canvas. Its like artificial intelligence is the artist in this case.
The Prisma app is currently available on iOS only where it is garnering about 30,000 downloads every day. The company plans to launch it on Android very soon. The team behind the app currently resides in Russia but plans to relocate to San Francisco to keep building Prisma.