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TECNO takes on imaging bias with massive skin-tone database

In Phones by Alora Uy GuerreroLeave a Comment

TECNO showcased something pretty important at MWC [Mobile World Congress] 2024 here in Barcelona, Spain, raising the bar for inclusive technology.

The company has unveiled a groundbreaking multi-skin tone color card that aims to revolutionize how smartphone cameras capture diverse skin tones.

Fighting bias

Let’s be honest: Portrait tech in handsets typically has a bias problem. Cameras are often calibrated with limited datasets, leading to less-than-stellar results for a wide range of skin tones. TECNO’s solution? A massive database unlike anything we’ve seen before.

To come up with the database, the Transsion sub-brand collected over 2,800 skin-color data points, pretty much analyzed the heck out of it, and came up with 268 unique skin-tone patches. This database now powers their Universal Tone technology, allowing TECNO cameras to fine-tune their algorithms for incredible accuracy across all skin tones.

Dr. Kaida Xiao from the University of Leeds, who collaborated with TECNO, highlights the significance: “For years, imaging technology has not encapsulated skin tone diversity. While AI promises much to overcome this, it is often trained with historically biased data. TECNO’s multi-skin tone color card solves this issue scientifically by collecting mass amounts of unbiased data, and by integrating it with more advanced AI into TECNO’s camera system, TECNO has been able to truly capture the beauty of diverse skin tones.

Beyond smartphone imaging

TECNO’s not stopping with smartphone imaging. Last year, the brand partnered with BBC StoryWorks for the “Portrait for Everyone” documentary, exploring the societal impact of inclusive imaging. At the very least, it’s good to know that at least one OEM looks serious about tackling both the technical and psychological barriers to unbiased portraits.

If you care about representation in smartphone photography, TECNO’s multi-skin tone color card could be a game changer. Hopefully, it sets a new standard for the industry as a whole, and maybe if it’s as good as advertised, we’ll see other manufacturers follow suit.

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Alora Uy Guerrero

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Editor-in-chief: Alora Uy Guerrero has 22 years of experience as an editor for print and digital publications such as Yahoo. She took time off journalism to manage OPPO’s digital-marketing campaigns. When not busy with her babies, she’s working on Revü, a passion project — or probably traveling or obsessing over her favorite bands, movies, TV shows, and basketball teams.