This Chinese AI Startup Has A Smart Solution For The Selfie Generation
Several beauty apps are flooding the mobile space. Meitu, BeautyCam, MakeupPlus, Spring and Snow, to name a few, are being commonly used. These apps are driving the digital beauty revolution by virtually fixing face and body imperfections.
China’s leading artificial intelligence (AI) startup, SenseTime, has recently joined this growing list. The startup has launched a touch-up tool, powered by AI for smartphone cameras and live-streaming apps that can automatically touch you up. The AI camera filter automatically detects distinctive parts of a user’s body and face and enhances their looks without changing the background. According to SenseTime, the feature marks a major step up from existing products in the market that allow users to beautify still pictures of faces and selfies.
Tracing the Journey of SenseTime
With offices across China, Hong Kong and Japan, SenseTime specializes in AI and facial recognition. Founded at the Hong Kong Science Park in 2014, the startup was an academic project by professor Tang Xiaoou from the department of information engineering, Chinese University of Hong Kong. The project was commercialized the following year and Xu Li became its chief executive officer. After research and development, it launched products in 2016. The firm has produced facial recognition systems and has the Chinese government as one of its main clients for their mass surveillance. The algorithms used by the company are trained on database containing two billion images supplied by the government agencies. The platform has serviced over hundreds of companies and government agencies, across a wide range of industries including security, finance, smartphones, mobile Internet, robotics, and automobile.
Recently, the company launched the SenseDrive driver monitoring system and many other innovative products. It also launched SenseAR, China's first and only locally developed augmented reality platform, which effectively disrupts the global field of AR engines.
The Rise of Selfie Culture
According to a 2014 study by Time magazine, Asia was the most selfie-obsessed region in the world. The study indicated that four of the top 10 “selfiest” cities were in Asia. The selfie culture had become so dominant in Asia that at that time two global smartphone giants, China’s Huawei and South Korea’s Samsung, were competing with front-facing camera specifications and ownership of byproduct category terms like “groufie” and “wefie”, respectively. The selfie fever has only intensified over the years.