Google Photos is starting to roll out new Real Tone filters this week, according to the company. The new filters are available on Android, iOS, and the web, and can be found in Google Photos’ image editor’s ‘Filters’ tab. The Real Tone filters were announced at this year’s annual developers conference.
The company took to Twitter to announce the upcoming feature, “The new Real Tone filters in Google Photos are starting to roll out today on Android, iOS, and web. These filters were designed by professional image-makers to work well across skin tones, so you can choose the filter that reflects your style.”
For those who are unaware, Real Tone for Pixel was announced last year to improve the representation of diverse skin tones across Google products. The feature was developed in partnership with Harvard professor and sociologist Dr. Ellis Monk. The new skin tone scale is designed to be more inclusive of the spectrum of skin tones we see in our society. Dr. Monk has been studying how skin tone and colourism affect people’s lives for more than 10 years. The culmination of Dr. Monk’s research is the Monk Skin Tone (MST) Scale, a 10-shade scale that will be incorporated into various Google products over the coming months.
“We’re openly releasing the scale so anyone can use it for research and product development. Our goal is for the scale to support inclusive products and research across the industry — we see this as a chance to share, learn and evolve our work with the help of others,” the company noted.
The scale can be used to evaluate and improve models that detect faces in images, for example. Using the MST Scale new features to make it easier for people of all backgrounds to find more relevant and useful results. For example, when you use Google Images to search for makeup-related queries, you can now refine your results by skin tone. So, if you’re looking for “everyday eyeshadow” or “bridal makeup looks,” you’ll be able to find more relevant results.
Google is rolling out improvements to show a wider range of skin tones in image results for broad searches about people or ones where people appear in the results.
The MST Scale will also be used to improve Google Photos. Last year, in collaboration with professional image makers Google improved its auto-enhance feature. Real Tone filters that are designed to work well with a wide range of skin tones and are rated on the MST Scale. To evaluate, test, and build these filters, we worked with a diverse group of renowned image-makers, including Kennedi Carter and Joshua Kissi, who are known for their beautiful and accurate depictions of their subjects. These new Real Tone filters give you more options for finding a look that matches your personal style. In the coming months, Real Tone filters will be available on Google Photos for Android, iOS, and the web.
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