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Huawei Applied For A Patent On Moon Capture, User Questioned: Whether it is PS or AI Optimization?

Huawei Applied For A Patent On Moon Capture, User Questioned: Whether it is PS or AI Optimization?

On July 17, 2019, the State Intellectual Property Office of P.R.China announced a patent entitled "A Method and Electronic Equipment for Moon Capture" which Huawei holds.

According to the introduction to the patent, by using this method, one can capture the crystal-clear moon in the normal mode even though he/she isn't proficient in photography. The method improves the user experience in shooting.

The launch of Huawei P30 Pro led the wave of moon pictures, as the smartphone presents you the "exquisite" moon. Inevitably, technology caused a lot of controversies.

Many people suspect that the clear moon pictures are generated by AI optimization or post-production.

On close inspection, they found that Huawei did have the power to create a "beautiful moon" and make it out of nothing.

That is, apart from "recovering" an extremely blurred moon picture, Huawei P30 Pro can:

1. Add details in case of vacancy;

2. Restore the details by flipping;

3. Remove the unnecessary part added to the picture.

It is said that once the AI recognizes the moon, the mechanism will be triggered to repair the picture out of nothing. This is equivalent to correcting your answer by referring to the standard answer.

Additionally, according to a few reviewers, the AI Moon Mode of Huawei P30 indeed modifies the moon that it captures and adds some nonexistent details.

How does the Huawei smartphone shoot the moon?

This is Huawei's patent on moon capture:

Combine multiple frames with technology and use AI to enhance the details and resolution. 

According to the latest patent announced by Huawei, Huawei is entitled to four rights, including the way to capture the moon, the associated electronic equipment, the corresponding programs, and instructions.

As for more specific operation, when the electronic device recognizes the moon, it will enter the moon mode and automatically focus the moon, so the clear outline and details of the moon will appear in the preview.

During the operation, multiple moon pictures with different exposure settings are collected and processed differently.

Simply put, the Huawei smartphone realizes a moon shot in the following steps:

1. Use low exposure to take a set of photos, then, after image fusion and AI optimization, you can get a clear, underexposed photo of the moon (Photo A). 

2. Use high exposure to take a set of photos, then, after image fusion and AI optimization, you can get a clear, overexposed photo of the moon (Photo B). 

3. Finally, Photo A and B are merged and processed by AI to generate the final photo.

However, the multi-frame fusion is a technology which selects the best one among the actual photos. It is different from post-production with which you can change the real photos at will.

In the patent specification, it states that the use of AI technology can enhance the details and resolution of the moon, to obtain ultra-clear images of the moon.

The shooting process in the patent specification shows that the AI enhancement is only used for the moon, while the high dynamic range (HDR) enhancement is for the background.

Compared to normal images, HDR can provide a wider dynamic range and more details. It reflects the real environments better by making use of the best details in each LDR (low dynamic range) image to generate the final HDR image.

However, in the patent, Huawei only mentions the AI technology that enhances the details and resolution of the moon, but it doesn't explain how it realizes the enhancement.

Moreover, this method of moon capture can be applied to electronic devices, such as mobile phones, tablets, wearable devices, in-vehicle devices, AR/VR devices, notebooks, ultrabooks, and personal digital assistants.

When applying for the patent, Huawei didn't make the devices exclusive to P30 Series. This is a universal method for clear moon pictures, and it works for all corresponding devices. 

This means that after the patent is approved, other mobile phone manufacturers must pay for license fees to Huawei if they use the same method and equipment with the same design to get the clear moon shots. Otherwise, they will be suspected of patent infringement.

The release of news caused a heated discussion among Chinese netizens. Some people are joking, "Now the moon belongs to Huawei. Later, the sun will be theirs. At last, the universe will be theirs."

"As everyone knows, the moon comes later than Huawei."

"Can you do whatever you want with technology?" Huawei answers, "Yes."

More netizens said:

"A photo is a record of life. It is good to take a photo of the moon."

"This patent application consists of a total of 37 pages, and you can download from the site of Patent Office. Those who want to defame Huawei can download it and have a look."

A small number of people are confused, "I wonder whether it is different from the Moon Mode of Xiaomi. Can anyone help?"

In my opinion, even though all bloggers argue about post-production and AI optimization, the public wants the moon to be high-definition.

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