Detail is a new startup working on an app for iOS and macOS to turn an iPhone into a software-optimized camera for live video. The startup wants to make it easier to use the phone with the live streaming platform already in use, such as Zoom, Google Meet, Twitch, Hopin or YouTube Live.

Over the past year, those who had to present something to a large audience in a live stream probably faced some challenges. First, as Joanna Stern of the Wall Street Journal demonstrated, the webcams on some computers are not of good quality. 

Second, if you’re willing to invest, you can buy a ring light, a dedicated camera, a good microphone, etc. The problem is that it is expensive. More importantly, it was very difficult to buy some of these things, as many remote workers were looking for such devices.

Third, you may be good at teaching something, but not at video production. Those are different skills and somehow people say you have to know all about white balance, anti-flicker and more.

As for Detail, the company wants to make it as easy as possible to go from zero to live streaming. The best camera to have is probably the one in our pocket, right on the back of your smartphone. Over the past few years, computational photography led to huge improvements when it comes to taking photos with your phone. But there’s still work to be done on the live streaming front.

Detail founder Paul Veugen rightly points out that hosting live video became a commodity. But everything that happens before sending the video stream over the Internet could be improved.

Initially, Detail will be an iPhone and Mac app that works hand in hand like Camo and EpocCam. There will be some easy to use settings to adjust color grades, add filters, among others. It will be a more obstinate version of the smartphone-as-webcam move.

Behind the scenes, the team is made up of some of the people who worked on Human, a passive fitness tracking app: you can set it up and get information about your activity level over the last few days. Essentially, it was like Apple Activity ringing before Apple introduced the Apple Watch. Human was acquired by Mapbox in 2016.

Detail is still in active development and beta testing will begin soon. But it’s an intriguing app that promises some very interesting technology. 

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