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October 31, 2013

New Lumia imaging apps to capture your imagination

Smart Resize and the other winning apps from the Nokia Capture hackathon demonstrate clever – some might even say ‘visionary’ – new uses for camera phones.

At the end of the summer, 10 teams of developers – selected from more than 1,000 entries – traveled to Lund, Sweden, to compete in a 27-hour Hackathon where they transformed the ideas they submitted to the Nokia Capture contest into working Windows Phone apps. Now, many of those apps from the top 10 are available for download from the Windows Phone Store.

The winners of the contest were Shida Li and Rudi Chen (pictured below), friends and students from the University at Waterloo in Canada, for their “Smart Resize” app.


Using what the developers describe as a “content-aware scaling algorithm” the Smart Resize app differentiates between the most important and less important parts of your picture so you can remove the stuff you don’t want while leaving the main subjects perfectly intact, at the proper size.

Smart Resize is more than simply cropping your picture into a smaller frame to make it fit inside a box. It is also more than just proportionally scaling a picture to squeeze it into a square. If you upload a lot of photos to various social networking sites where square pictures are the norm, try framing your picture with Smart Resize first before uploading it with your preferred photo-sharing app.

When you use Smart Resize, you decide which part of the picture matters the most to you, and then you can let the app do the work to size your image just the way you want it.

The app was shown off for the first time at Nokia World in Abu Dhabi last week, where Rudi and Shida traveled as part of their prize for winning the Nokia Capture contest. Check out the video below to see Smart Resize in action.


Also, a more detailed video about Rudi’s and Shida’s experience in Abu Dhabi is available from Nokia Developer.

The first two runners-up in the Nokia Capture contest are Social Scene by Jason Podwojski from geoLog UK, and TapShoot by South African developer and Nokia Developer Champion Matt Cavanagh of RogueCode.

Social Scene redefines the way we think about time-lapse photography, and gives you a new way to share the world around you. Take a picture of a scene, and then see how others contribute to it later on, creating a long-term time-lapse view of that place (such as the Abu Dhabi skyline in the gallery below). You can use the app in either landscape or portrait mode, and you can use it to get driving or walking directions to a specific Social Scene, so you can add to it with pictures that you take.

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TapShoot makes it possible for you to connect two Windows Phones together, and use one as a remote to control the camera of the other device. This free app uses Bluetooth and NFC functionality on your Lumia to connect the phones together, and then captures the picture seen by the second device. You can even select from a variety of image filters to make your picture look even better.


Other apps from the hackathon that are now in Windows Phone Store are Remote Shot Beta, Panna Paint, and Beetle. You can check out all of the new imaging apps that were produced during the Nokia Capture event in this App Social collection.

And more apps are in the works. As you might recall, the Nokia Create contest has been underway for the past few months, inviting submissions from Windows Phone app developers for new apps across multiple categories, including the “Do Good” Mission that is happening in conjunction with the Royal National Institute of Blind People. More details about Nokia Create are available on the Nokia Developer website.