Samsung Patent Points To Skin Tone Detection Via Camera

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Samsung recently filed a patent for an app that will detect a user's skin tone using a smartphone's camera. The app shown in the patent application seems to be focused on giving users tips to avoid sunburns and other environmental hazards. It works by sorting users into one of six predetermined skin types based on how fair or tanned their skin is, along with considerations for pigmentation issues, wounds and other abnormalities. The description from Samsung says that the app will provide information on how to manage a subject's specific skin type, along with specific info on what kind of sun protection to use, how long the subject can be out in the sun and other such information.

The way it works is by taking a photo of some portion of the user's body that shows both skin and non-skin, such as a fingernail or the user's eyes. The app figures out what it's looking at, then compares the coloration in the two parts of the photo it chooses to examine in order to determine how fair a subject's skin is. It also uses the front-facing camera during normal use to see abnormalities in the skin, as well as any prominent marks or issues with the subject's face. This information, in turn, is used to fetch tips for the subject as detailed above. Tips for managing sun exposure are shown in the patent drawings as seen below, but the scope of the app may extend beyond that in the future, juding by the language used in the patent description.

While this is certainly an unconventional app, it's not that big of a surprise to see something like this showing up on a Samsung device. The company has always prided itself on innovation and offering features that nobody else has, and the onboard machine learning technology packed into modern mobile processors allows Samsung to create something like this, capable of examining a subject in detail and comparing those details to both known and new values in order to reach a classification. Given the timing of the patent, if this app is going to be real, it may show up in the Galaxy Note 9 or Galaxy S10.

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Senior Staff Writer

Daniel has been writing for Android Headlines since 2015, and is one of the site's Senior Staff Writers. He's been living the Android life since 2010, and has been interested in technology of all sorts since childhood. His personal, educational and professional backgrounds in computer science, gaming, literature, and music leave him uniquely equipped to handle a wide range of news topics for the site. These include the likes of machine learning, Voice assistants, AI technology development news in the Android world. Contact him at [email protected]

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