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Photo & video industry news : Google I/O, OpenAI and others

May 31, 2024  Amani Sharma

In May 2024, Google unveiled an impressive set of AI initiatives aimed at improving photo and video use cases. Hans Hartman, author at Visual 1st, recently shared his 7 most relevant announcements for the personalized products industry in a newsletter. In addition, he shares some very interesting news you shouldn’t miss in the industry. Here’s a summary of everything he mentioned!

Google I/O 

SynthID: Google’s invisible AI watermark tech will now work with photos, videos, and music.

Project Astra: A new app that uses AI to identify and provide information about objects you point at or listen to.

Veo: A new tool that creates videos from prompts, similar to OpenAI’s Sora.

Imagen 3: The latest and highest quality version of Google’s text-to-image creation tool.

Ask Photos: A new Google Photos feature that lets you search for and get insights about your photos by asking questions.

Google Lens: Now allows you to ask questions using videos, not just images.

Gemini on Android: Soon, Android users can drag and drop AI-generated images into Gmail and other apps. YouTube will also let users tap “Ask this video” to find information in videos.


Siri, Google Assistant, and Alexa: watch out! OpenAI has introduced a true multimodal chatbot based on its new GPT-4o AI model (“o” stands for “omni”). You can talk to the bot, show it images or videos, and get voice responses in real-time.

In other words, it’s a genuine multimodal AI chatbot, not just one that converts voice and images to text and back. You can ask it questions like, “What brand of shirt is this person wearing?” and get a spoken answer.

Only time will tell if this voice-centric interface will become popular. For now, text prompts for generating AI images are less popular compared to traditional interfaces like sliders and menus.


Introducing OnePoint, a new API that streamlines print-on-demand order management, connecting various Sensaria, Bay Photo, and JONDO print facilities worldwide.

(Anya Thrash, Executive VP of Marketing at Bay Photo/Sensaria, will share her insights at Visual 1st in our panel on innovation in photo print products, technology, and manufacturing.)

Freepik & Magnific

Freepik has acquired Magnific, a Spanish company that developed an AI-powered image upscaler, enhancer, and transformer solution just five months ago. This is Freepik’s biggest acquisition to date, adding to their acquisitions of EyeEm, Videvo, Original Mockups, and Iconfinder.


The visual e-commerce API provider Claid has announced a major upgrade. It includes a new interface, higher resolution, advanced AI tools for creating high-quality product photos, and the integration of 15 AI image tools in a single API, enabling e-commerce customers to automate their entire workflows.


At Apple’s recent “Let Loose” event, they introduced the Final Cut Camera app, a powerful video camera app offering more control than the built-in one. This app could compete with advanced third-party apps like Blackmagic Camera or Filmic Pro.

One standout feature is Live Multicam, which lets users connect multiple iPhones or iPads to shoot video simultaneously. These shots are automatically transferred and synced to Final Cut Pro, allowing seamless editing from multiple angles. In short, it turns your iPad into a multicam production studio.


Profoto, a past Visual 1st Best of Show Awards winner, announced Eclipse II, the second generation of its product photography station. It includes high-end lighting equipment, a built-in Canon EOS R8 camera, workflow management software, and an iPad-controlled interface. This system is designed for capturing pro-quality stills and videos of items like shoes or accessories with minimal photographic skills needed. The new system is brighter, faster, and smarter than the original developed by StyleShoots, a company Profoto acquired in 2022.


Meta’s AI tools for advertisers can now create new images, not just backgrounds. For example, if you have a product image, such as a cup of coffee, you can replace the background and generate variations of the product itself, like showing it from different angles.


VSCO introduces VSCO Hub, a job-matching solution for businesses to find the right photographers for their projects. This new feature includes AI-powered search assistance to match photographers with specific requirements.


OpenAI has launched a deepfake detector that can identify AI images from its DALL-E model with 98.8% accuracy. This tool works well because OpenAI adds tamper-resistant metadata to DALL-E 3 images.


OpenAI is exploring ways to enable users to responsibly generate AI porn, ensuring content does not violate laws or rights. This move recognizes the importance of creative content involving sexuality or nudity for some users.


TikTok will start labeling AI-generated content with Content Credentials, making it the first major social media platform to support the open C2PA standard. This label will be added to AI watermarked content from outside TikTok as well.

Rapid advances in AI technology are dramatically transforming the photo and video industry. Thanks to initiatives from Google, OpenAI, Apple and others, visual content creation and management capabilities are becoming more sophisticated and more accessible.