Google just added a new low light mode to its video chatting app Duo, but it's different from most low light modes in that it can automatically detect poor lighting conditions and adjust the picture to illuminate the person's face.
Google says this new mode is perfect for people who want to cut down on electricity costs, especially those who live in areas affected by consistent power outages.
"In many places, electric lighting is a significant challenge, preventing people from connecting face to face," Google writes in a press release. "People often light their homes with a single bulb when electricity is expensive, and even then, power outages remain common in many areas, leaving people in the dark during the evening when many video calls with family and friends happen."
Add More Light To You Video Chats
But even if electricity isn't an issue, adds Google, many people just want to video call someone to say good night before bed, and during these moments, lighting isn't always great. Which is why it's decided to introduce a low light mode to Duo, Google says. It wants to help people connect with each other face to face, even under insufficient lighting.
Low light mode will roll out to iOS and Android users "this week."
Low Light Mode
It's not clear if this low light mode takes advantage of the camera's capabilities or is simply a software-based simulation. Google did not mention the technology that underpins this new perk, nor did it confirm any reliance on the hardware's capabilities. However, it doesn't seem Duo is merely increasing the screen's brightness for a selfie flash effect. Below is a GIF from Google illustrating how the new feature works.
"The video call will adjust so people in the frame are more visible when the phone detects dim lighting," is the only description Google provided pertaining to how the feature operates. Perhaps a deep-dive is needed to understand how it achieves added luminance during poor lighting conditions. In any case, make sure to check back with Tech Times as we learn more.
Google has been providing updates lately that address low light image quality. One example is the Night Sight feature on its Pixel line of phones, which uses artificial intelligence to light up dark scenes without introducing annoying grain, and still retaining plenty of detail. Google didn't outright say if Duo's low light mode is using a similar technique, but as the GIF above shows, it definitely looks like it's trying to achieve the same effect.