There are quite a few smartphone apps for document scanning and capture. For capturing documents and written notes, my current favorite is Scannable from Evernote. Lately, I have been testing Microsoft Pix for photos.
Both of these applications are great examples of how artificial intelligence can enhance and improve all types of images. I have used Pix as my primary camera app for a while due to its ability to quickly capture better pictures of family and friends with an iPhone.
A new version of Microsoft Pix now allows you to take better pictures of documents, whiteboards, and business cards too.
New Features of Microsoft Pix
Microsoft Pix sets itself apart from other camera apps by using the power of artificial intelligence to correct your photos, learning new tricks over time. It can do things like add artistic flair to your images, turn photos shot in a row into “Live Images,” or just make sure the people in your photos look great. This week, the app got a new update out that adds yet another AI trick to the pile: the ability to capture whiteboards and turn them into useful images.
The updated app automatically detects whiteboards, documents, and business cards in real time and intelligently adjusts camera settings for these types of photos. Once the shutter clicks, the app uses AI to improve the image, such as cropping edges, boosting color and tone, sharpening focus, and tweaking the angle to render the image in a straight-on perspective.
Image Correction and AI
Microsoft Pix’s image correction and alignment algorithms are similar to those found in Microsoft Office Lens; a mobile app used to take pictures of whiteboards and documents that can be saved to OneDrive or converted into editable Office applications such as Word and PowerPoint.
The two applications are complementary. Office Lens remains the best tool to easily integrate productivity images across the suite of Office products, while Microsoft Pix is out front pushing the boundaries of using AI to take better pictures of everything from a snapshot of my grandkids to the whiteboard notes from your morning meeting.
According to Josh Weisberg, a principal program manager in the Computational Photography Group within Microsoft’s research organization, the addition of productivity scenarios to Microsoft Pix is part of a broader push to augment the app’s ability to infer user intent and offer intelligent actions.
“In this case, we get you a much better photo of a whiteboard without any effort on your part,” he said. “In the future, we will continue to improve Pix’s AI capabilities to work on your behalf and save you time and give you better results.”
What tools do you use to capture various types of documents?