One of the most exciting parts of covering SXSW is having the opportunity to speak with the minds behind innovative new technologies. Startups from around the globe travel to Austin, Texas for SXSW to showcase their new technologies to a global audience. Every year, SXSW brings together selected new startups with a panel of judges to determine their viability. This year’s SXSW Pitch finalists include Alice Camera, a UK-based startup that aims to provide an easy-to-use and affordable tool for the next generation of content creators.
We had the pleasure to chat to Vishal Kumar, the CEO and Co-Founder of Alice Camera.
Can you talk a little bit about Alice Camera? What’s the product and what does it aim to achieve?
Alice Camera is a novel AI-powered mirrorless camera that transforms your smartphone into a professional camera. It aims to empower the next generation of creators with a device more suited to a new era of content.
How did the idea come about?
We’re a team of content creators ourselves who were frustrated by traditional DSLR and mirrorless cameras: we found them to be complicated to use, heavy and bulky, mostly offline devices without the ability to use apps, and they were expensive. Our aim was to build a product for creators that was easy to use, lightweight and portable, internet connected and with the ability to use modern apps, as well as being affordable.
How does it work?
Alice Camera just attaches to the back of your smartphone. It creates a local wifi network which your phone connects to. We’ve developed a phone on the app which acts as a real-time viewfinder and control interface of the camera; that means you use your phone’s screen to control the camera, but the camera body itself captures the photos and videos in professional quality.
How does it use AI?
Content editing is done on-device in real-time using our on-camera AI-driven computational photography pipeline. For example, we use deep learning to perform auto white balance, auto exposure, autofocus, colour grading and HDR enhancement, video stabilisation, and in the future we will be using AI to do superresolution, image stacking, night time mode and even style transfer.
How do you think Alice Camera contributes to the entertainment and media industries? What is its potential?
Nowadays, in 2023, there are estimated to be 200 million creators who generate an income from sharing content online according to a report released by LinkTree. It’s now an extremely viable path for individuals to aspire to be full-time creators, or even part-time hobbyist creators; this is a huge paradigm shift compared to a decade ago. But DSLR and mirrorless cameras are still slowing creators down and holding them back because they use out of fashion technology. Creators still need to spend a lot of time transferring files onto their laptop and juggling between multiple editing softwares.
According to research by Convert Kit, creators spend between 30-40 hours a week on average creating and producing content. There is incredible potential to provide a new generation camera that leverages AI and modern software to a significant amount of editing on-device in real-time to streamline workflows. This will not just benefit creators but also many small businesses and content agencies.
How has it been adopted so far?
We’ve received some excellent feedback. We have over 33,000 people across our community and we were voted by TechRadar as one of the most exciting camera releases in the world.
Can you direct us to a bit of interesting content that was created using Alice Camera?
The Instagram Reel below was made in 30 minutes with the Alice Camera and the video compares the iPhone 14 Pro and Sony a6600 to the Alice Camera.
Featured image: Junessa Rendon / Capturenow