Looking at vivo’s high-end mobile imaging ambitions from the “three shoulders”

Produced | He Xi Typesetting | Ye Yuan

“Give the right of creation to every ordinary person truly” – at the vivo video strategy conference on October 24, vivo used this sentence to express its video vision.

Of course, vivo’s image vision is not just a slogan. In order to achieve this vision, vivo has proposed “two strategic pivots” and “three side by side” specific imaging strategies and goals.


The road of vivo mobile imaging exploration

In the field of mobile phones, imaging technology has long been the core factor for consumers to identify high-end models. Models and brands with first-class imaging experience are often recognized as true high-end products by users. In recent years, it is precisely because of the continuous progress in imaging technology that vivo has realized the continuous advancement of the brand to high-end, and has been recognized and sought after by the majority of user groups. The benchmark of vivo imaging technology is the flagship X series model. As the main force of vivo’s image technology research and development, exploration and promotion and application, the development of the X series is almost the epitome and representative of vivo’s road to mobile image exploration.

Looking back on history, the XShot model released in 2014 is the starting point for the entire X series, and even the vivo brand to focus and develop imaging technology. In the electronic consumer market before the birth of XShot, although the mobile phone at that time had the ability to take pictures, it created the era of portable mobile imaging. However, because the relevant software and hardware technologies have just started, the mobile phone’s capabilities in terms of the amount of light entering the lens, image sensor and software processing were still limited, and it was impossible to shoot with high quality like traditional SLR cameras and video cameras. At this time, the majority of mobile phone users have the portability of mobile phones and the social advantages of easy sharing, but because the mobile devices in their hands cannot control complex imaging technology, it is difficult to carry out the most desirable professional services like users of SLR cameras and video cameras. high-level creation, forming a huge demand pain point. Out of deep insight into the pain points of this demand, vivo XShot is the first in the market to introduce F1.8 large aperture and optical image stabilization into the main camera of mobile phones at the same time. Good reputation; 4 years later, vivo launched another model X23, which can be called an imaging milestone. With the exclusive Super HDR technology, it solved the long-standing problem of uneven exposure under backlight, and improved the camera experience of mobile phone users. A big step; then in 2019 and 2020, vivo applied 60x super zoom and ultra-small anti-shake micro-gimbal technology on the X30 and X50 launched successively, and improved the depth of field and anti-shake level of mobile phone photos to new heights.

vivo has been thinking about how to allow ordinary mobile phone users to have professional-level imaging technology, so as to truly get the right to create images as they wish. Such thinking drives the continuous upgrading of vivo imaging technology. For example, in order to obtain the color vividness and naturalness of the human eye level when taking pictures with mobile phones, starting from 2021, vivo and the world-renowned Zeiss have jointly developed a bright and natural color reproduction technology; in order to make night scene shooting more accurate Natural and more stable, vivo has invested a team of hundreds of people to develop its own image processing unit, which enables the X series mobile phones to have unique low-light shooting and fast imaging capabilities; in order to allow users to take ideal portrait effects, vivo continues to Deep Cultivation has launched an innovative super-sensing portrait system, which brings the portrait understanding and beautification capabilities of professional retouchers to mobile phones; in order to make video shooting easier, vivo has launched a revolutionary micro-cloud platform technology since 2 years ago. , with the stability far exceeding the traditional OIS optical image stabilization system, the picture quality of mobile shooting and sports video is directly improved to a new stage.

At this press conference, vivo repeatedly emphasized a concept: empowering everyone with professional imaging technology. This is the driving force behind the continuous evolution of vivo’s X series from XShot to X80 and the decentralization of advanced imaging technology to sub-brands such as iQOO.

From color and night scenes, to portraits and videos, the road to exploration of vivo imaging technology is the way to climb vivo’s imaging. From XShot to X80, vivo has used unremitting R&D efforts and innovative technology applications to achieve a model in the industry that uses imaging technology to drive high-end brand upgrades.


The advanced road of vivo imaging

Looking back, the growth and progress track of vivo mobile imaging technology from ten years ago to the present is a user-oriented principle, focusing on user pain points, constantly polishing capabilities in the dimensions of color, night scene, portrait, sports, video, etc., and steadily improving the user’s experience. The advanced path of video experience. And vivo has been like one day for ten years, and the underlying logic of this advanced road is persistently adhered to, which is the “three side by side” proposed by the brand at this video strategy conference. The so-called three pars refer to the professional imaging equipment, the professional photography team, and the professional post-production capabilities.

Essentially, the three juxtapositions are to allow ordinary users to efficiently record and process the color, tone and image quality information of images using only the phone lens while maintaining portability. And through the superior system of vivo, the professional photographer’s environmental understanding ability can be given to the mobile phone, so as to automatically identify the scene color temperature, lighting and other information, automatically determine and analyze the best shooting method; most importantly, let the mobile phone Focusing on the two core scenes of portrait and night scene, it can perform precise semantic extraction and optimization like a professional post-processing technician, which greatly improves the expressiveness of the scene and captures the images that users really want in their minds.

Under the guidance of the concept of “three shoulder to shoulder”, vivo has long-term intensively built the underlying core capabilities, supported the flagship imaging products represented by the X series, and continuously advanced to stand out in the market competition, and firmly occupies its own place in the high-end market. share.

Over the past ten years, the unremitting pursuit of “three side by side” has driven the vivo brand to continue to study the needs of every user of mobile imaging, and to create the best system with constantly improving technology. For example, in order to allow the mobile phone to have super image capabilities while avoiding the increase in weight, thickness, and protruding size of the camera, vivo has deeply cultivated and realized a whole set of technical improvements, using better CMOS to increase the sensor’s sensitivity by 77%. %; using machine learning performance to develop AI-ISP, which improves image processing speed unprecedentedly; jointly developed the next-generation miniaturized lens module with Zeiss, making mobile phones lighter and slimmer.

While trying its best to increase the amount of light entering the lens, improve the speed of image processing, and reduce the size of components, vivo also relies on a deep understanding of imaging technology to focus on some key technical links, achieving industry-leading technological breakthroughs. For example, by integrating the gimbal system into the small space of the mobile phone, the vivo X series takes the lead in realizing the ultra-stable enhanced anti-shake function, which can improve the user’s photo-taking experience and improve the filming rate while increasing the amount of light entering; Another example is the lens coating jointly developed with Zeiss, which solves the “ghosting” problem of light reflection that plagues many manufacturers. In the process of constantly breaking through technical barriers, vivo mobile phones have an increasingly easy-to-use imaging system, and the vivo brand has also embarked on a perfect advanced road with the support of this. According to data from market research agency Counterpoint, in 2021 vivo will become the No. 1 smartphone brand in China, with a market share of 22%. In the second quarter of 2022, vivo has achieved a breakthrough in the market share of the domestic high-end smartphone market, becoming the second largest mobile phone brand after Apple.


vivo’s high-end mobile imaging ambitions

The ten-year advanced road of vivo imaging has witnessed the great progress of vivo in key aspects such as telephoto, algorithm, micro-cloud platform anti-shake, Zeiss color, night scene shooting, portrait beauty, and background blur. Vivo’s brand status is also moving towards high-end.

However, today’s strategy conference shows that vivo is not satisfied with its current achievements. Facing the future development, vivo proposed to rely on “two strategic pivots” as the vision to insist on providing users with a humanized professional imaging experience. These two fulcrums refer to “joint innovation + independent innovation”. Among them, joint innovation refers to the further deepening of the joint image development cooperation between vivo and Zeiss. As we all know, vivo has cooperated with Zeiss since the X60 series and jointly launched the imaging system, which has improved the light transmittance, improved the optical problems of the lens, and reproduced the classic rotating blur effect of the Zeiss lens, pushing the imaging experience of vivo mobile phones to Ultimately, it has also achieved excellent market performance. In the future, the two parties will continue to cooperate in depth. On the basis of the cooperation in optical imaging technology, the two parties will further formulate optical quality standards for mobile imaging and create more exciting mobile imaging experiences; and independent innovation means that vivo will continue to polish its own mobile imaging experience. Research chips and self-developed algorithms. The V1/V1+ chips released by vivo in the past two years have improved mobile phone imaging for all to see. In the next step, vivo will also invest more in independent innovation. By bringing high-precision AI computing into the ISP chip, the delay of image processing will be lower and the energy efficiency will be higher.

According to vivo’s plan, vivo will strive to create an imaging technology matrix with imaging functions comparable to professional imaging equipment, professional photography teams, and professional post-production capabilities under the support of “two strategic fulcrums” in the future.

It is foreseeable that with vivo’s continuous efforts in the field of mobile imaging, the imaging capabilities of vivo’s new products in the future will rise to a new height. Judging from the information disclosed at this conference, the imaging capabilities of the upcoming vivo X90 series will be greatly improved. It is understood that the main camera of the X90 series will use a larger bottom CMOS, and the photosensitive ability is 77% higher than that of the previous generation GNV. At the same time, its telephoto hardware will be greatly upgraded, so that the resolution of focal lengths above 5X will increase by 64% compared to the previous generation. More importantly, the new camera will use a new 50mm portrait lens jointly developed with Zeiss to achieve dual-focus portrait shooting. It will also be equipped with vivo’s new-generation self-developed image chip. The memory unit on this self-developed chip has a peak data throughput rate of about 1.3 trillion bits/s. It uses a 10-bit high-precision MAC deep learning accelerator, and its AI computing unit has the computational energy efficiency of The peak ratio reaches 16.3 TOPS/W, which reduces the inference delay by up to 96% compared with the traditional NPU, and improves the energy efficiency ratio by up to 200%. With the support of the breakthrough algorithm effect, the new self-developed chip has a noise reduction effect compared with the previous generation of night scene video. It increases by 20%, and brings algorithms such as HDR tone fusion and MEMC frame insertion to mobile phones, which can bring users a better photo experience.

Obviously, the vivo X90 will use more high-end mobile imaging technology than previous models to boost the vivo brand to launch a strong impact on the king of mobile imaging with stronger competitiveness.

From “three shoulder to shoulders” to “truly giving the right to create to every ordinary person”, there are both vivo’s unremitting pursuit of professional imaging technology, and vivo’s efforts to “benefit” the public with professional technology. thinking. This persistent pursuit of professional technology and the corporate philosophy of popularizing professional technology is highly consistent with Apple and Huawei’s idea of ​​leading the development of the industry with new technologies. It can also be said that applying professional technology to the people and promoting social development and progress is what great companies have been doing all the time.

Like Apple and Huawei, use technology to benefit the world. To “benefit” professional moving image technology and “truly give the right to create to every ordinary person” is both the vision of vivo and the ambition of vivo for moving images.