Prisma Launches Website to Share Its Deep Learning Tech With Other Companies

Prisma was all the craze in 2016. And you’ll still find the odd artistic Prisma-generated photo on Instagram and Facebook. But the startup behind the AI-based app wants to continue to stay relevant amidst competition from the likes of Facebook and Microsoft, and it hopes to do so by moving into the B2B space. The company believes that its technology can be used by for a range of purposes and is planning to sell its tools to third-party developers.

In order to promote its new service, the company launched a website – prismalabs.ai – that provides APIs and SDKs to developers to incorporate its deep learning models in their apps. In a statement to The Verge, Prisma CEO and co-founder Alexey Moiseenkov says, “We see big opportunities in deep learning and communication.”

“We feel that a lot of companies need expertise in this area. Even Google is buying companies for computer vision. We can help companies put machine vision in their app because we understand how to implement the technology,” Moiseenkov says. The company plans to offer machine vision tools like segmentation, face mapping, object recognition, among others to developers.

Prisma Launches Website to Share Its Deep Learning Tech With Other CompaniesThis shift in focus towards B2B, however, does not mean that the company will stop support for the Prisma app. Moiseenkov assures that support for the app, which currently sees between 5 million and 10 million monthly active users, will continue. Back in April, Prisma Labs rolled out an in-app filter storeto the app that allows users to search for both free and paid filters.

Companies like Facebook have been working on implementing various filtering tools to their in-app cameras, leading many to believe that a startup like Prisma could be eventually bought, much like the acquisition of popular face-swapping app MSQRD last year. In a pretty vague email reply to The Verge, co-founder Aram Airapetyan says, “We want to go on doing what we do and what we can do best. The whole team is super motivated and passionately committed to what we do! So the rest doesn’t matter (where, when, with whom).”

Prisma adds styles store and custom tool for superusers to make art filters

Style transfer app Prisma is adding another couple of new features as it works to keep its community engaged: a styles store and a tool that lets users create their own styles by uploading an image and tweaking various filters.

It says the latter has been the most popular feature request from its 2M+ daily users.

While the store sounds like a route to monetizing with paid content, for now at least that’s not the case. It’s more a way to help users navigate new styles as Prisma releases them, rather than flooding the app with too many options. Users can browse the store to find ones they like, download them and delete others they don’t.

“There are 44 styles available right now. This makes people confused as they have to scroll through lots of styles they don’t like to get to the favourite one. Now people will be able to download and keep the styles that they really enjoy,” it notes.

Users will also be able to rate and share styles on the Store with friends “in the near future”.

And while the feature is called “Store” all content is free — at least it is for now, though adding a store does potentially open a door for monetizing via some paid downloads in future.

“For the time being, we do not consider earning money from users,” co-founder Aram Airapetyan tells us.

Also today Prisma is releasing a desktop tool letting users create their own styles — albeit it’s only letting its most active users get their hands on this, and they’ll need a fair amount of patience for the process.

TechCrunch tested a version of the style creation tool before it was publicly released and the whole process ended up taking several days to go from uploading a photo to seeing how it styled other imagery.

Not because it literally took days, but because the wait times (for uploading/processing/review) were so opaque It was essentially easier to leave it working away and check back on it periodically. (Hey, it was MWC this week, so it’s been especially busy.)

Prisma claims it takes “an hour or so” to create a style, but does warn wait times may be longer “if the queue is big”. And the queue will obviously be bigger after launch, even if it’s only letting a few users get their hands on the tool.

The interface at this point is also pretty unwelcoming, with a large number of unlabeled slides that can be tweaked to set rules for “content weights” and “style weights” — but no apparent way to see how tweaks will influence the finished result. It’s a case of trial and error plus patience for now.

Prisma Can Now Apply Video Art Filters to Your Facebook Live Stream

Prisma Can Now Apply Video Art Filters to Your Facebook Live Stream
Support not added on Android as of now
Company planning to bring GIFs to the app going ahead
Facebook announced its own similar feature last month
Last month, Facebook revealed at a WSJD Live event that the company is working on a technology that allows users to apply filters like Prisma to its live videos in real time using artificial intelligence. At the time, it seemed like an impressive feat as Prisma usually takes some time to apply effects to images as well as short video clips. Prisma on Tuesday launched support for Facebook Live videos with its latest update to its iOS app, at roughly the same time Facebook said it was rolling out style transfer filters to Facebook Live with its Caffe2Go AI platform.

Prisma v2.8, listed on the App Store, enables the photo-filter app to apply its famous filters to video streaming. This means that the app now allows users to apply filters to images, short video clips, 360-degree videos, and live videos. Users will need to be signed into their Facebook account on the iOS app to access the Facebook Live streaming feature.

Notably, the support for live videos has currently made way to only iPhone 7 and iPhone 6s due to the hardware requirements for the processing. The support for live videos has not made its way to Android as of now and the company has not announced any plans regarding its rollout.

According to a report by The Next Web, the company is also planning to bring support for GIFs going ahead.

It will be interesting to see how soon Facebook responds to the latest update from Prisma, and whether it will change its strategy of a phased rollout for Caffe2Go accordingly. We will have to wait and see what the company’s next move will be.