LAS VEGAS -- What if you could carry around a professional film crew with you everywhere you went with your smartphone? Your videos would likely get much better.
While carrying around a full crew in your back pocket isn't possible, mobile app Magisto has created a way to use artificial intelligence to give you the power of a film crew. The company is launching the new feature, appropriately called CamCrew, during this year's International CES in Las Vegas. On display in Qualcomm's booth at the show, the feature will initially be available within Magisto's mobile app, but will later be incorporated into the built-in camera software on some smartphones.
"CamCrew makes Magisto a virtual full-service film production team, solving the problem of reels of useless footage by transforming the user experience from simply shooting video to instant movie-making and storytelling," says Oren Boiman, co-founder and chief executive of Magisto.
With the app, you identify who in the video is important as you're shooting it and "heart" any particular scenes you think are integral to the story as they're happening. With that knowledge, Magisto does the dirty work and creates an edited video using your best photos and video from an event. Your finished movie is created in the cloud, and is ready to watch almost immediately after you're done shooting.
While you're shooting your video, the app offers tips such as 'move the camera' when you're not capturing your star in the shot, or 'stabilize the camera' when your hands are a little too shaky. Small changes, but ones that will ensure you're ultimately shooting the best video possible.
"This is an alternative vision: rolling the camera isn't the beginning of the process, it's the whole process because you're making movies and telling stories every time you start the camera," says Boiman. "If, as they say, one picture is worth 1000 words, then this technology will speak volumes."
Magisto is available for free iOS and Android, as well as on the web. An in-app purchase is required to download finished videos.
Emily Price is a tech reporter based in San Francisco, Calif. She specializes in mobile technology, social media, apps, and startups. Her work has appeared in a number of publications including The Wall Street Journal, Reuters, PC World, Macworld, CNN and Mashable.