Mar 27th, 2017

One of the big storylines with the Pixel and Pixel XL has been the excellent cameras. Google has traditionally struggled with cameras on their Nexus devices, but with the Pixel, they did a great job. In a new entry on the Google X blog, we learn more about how the team created the camera.

The secret behind the Pixel camera is software called “Gcam.” The project goes all the way back to 2011 as a concept camera for Google Glass. The technology eventually became much more and made its way to the camera apps on the Nexus 5 and Nexus 6 as well as Photos and YouTube apps.

Gcam augments camera hardware with a technique called “image fusion.” It takes a rapid sequence of photos and fuses them together to create one high-res image. This was important for the tiny sensor on Google Glass, but it also works wonders on phones with larger sensors. So next time your Pixel takes a nice shot, thank Google Glass.

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