A recent Google patent unveils how Google might make Android’s camera software auto-adjust the settings so it can take the best shots, even in poor weather conditions, without the need for the users to change those weather setting themselves. The software will identify your location through the GPS, then look up for the weather in that area on Google’s servers, and then balance the camera’s white balance and contrast to match that weather and create a great shot. Here’s the exact patent application:
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“Disclosed herein is a method for capturing an image using an image capture device equipped with a processor. The method includes receiving an electromagnetic signal transmitted from a remote station, determining a location of the image capture device based on the received electromagnetic signal, establishing communication over a network between the image capture device and a remote server, transmitting a request to the remote server for weather information pertaining to the determined location; receiving the weather information, determining an ambient lighting value based on the weather information, capturing an image using the image capture device, and processing the captured image using the determined ambient lighting value.”
This sounds like exactly the kind of thing Google would do, especially since they already have all kinds of location data, and also weather data. This feature also needs access to the cloud and Google’s servers to retrieve that information, so you’ll need to have your phone connected to the Internet, either through 3G/LTE or Wi-Fi, whenever you’re taking a picture, and you want it to be automatically adjusted for your local weather conditions.
I think in the future we’ll be seeing a lot more features like this, Google Now, and others, that use the cloud to improve the experience you’re having with your device, and go beyond the capabilities of the device’s hardware or software. These new cloud-based features are also going to need constant Internet connection and (virtually) unlimited data, or at least a lot more than what we get now. We already get pretty decent speeds with LTE, although more is welcome with LTE Advanced, and whatever comes next, up to 1 Gbps and beyond. But the speed is a little ahead of how much data we can use for a reasonably priced data plan. When this will no longer be an issue, then cloud-based features will be set to explode.