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Imint is the Swedish firm that gives Chinese smartphones an edge in video production - The Next Tech

Imint is the Swedish firm that gives Chinese smartphones an edge in video production

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by Amelia Scott — 3 months ago in Business Ideas 4 min. read
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If your phone takes amazing photos, chances are its camera has been augmented by artificial intelligence embedded in the operating system. Now videos are getting the same treatment.

In recent years, smartphone makers have been gradually transforming their cameras into devices that capture data for AI processing beyond what the lens and sensor pick up in a single shot.

That effectively turns a smartphone into a professional camera on auto mode and lowers the bar of capturing compelling images and videos.

In a age of TikTok and vlogging, there is a massive need to readily create professional-looking movies on the move. Like images, videos captured tablets rely not only about the lens and detector but also on improvement calculations.

To some degree, these lines of codes are more crucial compared to hardware, contended Andreas Lifvendahl, founder and chief executive of Swedish firm Imint, whose applications now enhances video creation in approximately 250 million devices — many of which come from Chinese producers.

Smart video recording

Imint began life in 2007 as a spin-off academic study team from Uppsala University in Sweden. It spent the first couple of years construction applications for aerial surveillance, only as many cutting edge inventions that find their initial customers in the defense marketplace.

In 2013, Lifvendahl watched the arrival of smartphone variation and a massive opportunity to deliver the exact same technology employed in defense drones to the handsets from people’s pockets.

“Smartphone firms were investing a good deal in camera technologies which was a smart move,” he remembered. “It was quite difficult to find features using an immediate connection to customers in daily usage, and the camera was among these because people needed to record their lifetime.”

“But they had been missing the point by focusing on megapixels and images. Consumers needed to express themselves at a wonderful manner of utilizing videos,” the creator included.

The Following February, the Swedish founder attended Mobile World Congress in Barcelona to Judge Seller Attention. Most exhibitors were, unsurprisingly, Chinese phone manufacturers scouring the seminar for spouses.

They were instantly intrigued by Imint’s solution, and Lifvendahl returned home to put about tweaking his applications for smartphones.

“I have never met this type of receptive mindset to take a peek so fast, a very clear sign that something is happening here with cameras and smartphones, and particularly videos,” Lifvendahl explained.

Vidhance, Imint’s enhancement program package mainly for Android, was shortly released. Nowadays, it may improve accuracy, reduce movement, track moving objects, auto-correct horizon, decrease noise, and reinforce different elements of a movie in real time — throughout profound learning.

In search of expansion capital, the creator took the startup people to the Stockholm Stock Exchange by the end of 2015. The following year, Imint landed its first big accounts with Huawei, the Chinese telecoms equipment giant which has been playing competitive catch-up on smartphones in the moment.

“This was a turning point for us since after we could function with Huawei, each of the other men thought,’Ok, these men know what they’re doing,'” the creator remembered. “And from that point, we simply grew and grew.”
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Working with Chinese clients

The hyper-competitive character of Chinese phone manufacturers means that they can easily be sold on new technologies which may help them stand out. The flipside is that the intensity that accompanies competition. The Chinese technology business is equally well-respected — and infamous — because of its rapid pace.

“In certain aspects, it is quite U.S.-like. It is very directly to the stage and very stern,” Lifvendahl mirrored his expertise with Chinese customers.

“You can find an offer even at the first or second meeting, for example,’Alright, that is interesting, if you’re able to demonstrate that this works in our next product release, which will be expected in 3 weeks. Can you establish a contract today?'”

“That is a fantastic side,” he continued. “The drawback to get a Swedish business is the need they have on providers. They need us to go onsite and supply support, and that is difficult for a tiny Swedish firm. So we will need to be very effective, which makes great tools and also have great support systems”

The quick speed also permeates into the telephone manufacturers’ development cycle, which isn’t necessarily great for invention, proposed Lifvendahl. They’re responding to market trends, not thinking ahead of the curve — what Apple excels in — or even running sufficient market research.

Despite all of the scrambling within, Lifvendahl stated that he was amazed that Chinese producers may”get such high quality phones ”

“They could launch 1 flagship, possibly have a weekend break, then next Monday they’re racing for another job, which will be published in 3 months. So there is no opportunity to prepare or plan. You dive right into a job, so there are a good deal of loose ends that will need to be tied up in just four or five months. You’re attempting to tie a huge number of unique bits together with fifty distinct providers”
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High-end niche

Imint is among these businesses which flourish by locating a tough-to-crack market. Competition certainly exists, frequently coming from big Chinese and Japanese businesses.

But there is always a market for a player who specializes in something and does it really well. The creator compares his company into a”small market boutique at the corner, the hi-fi shop with speakers that are expensive ”

About three-quarters of all Imint’s earnings come from licensing its own proprietary software which does these tips. Some customers pay royalties on the amount of devices shipped that utilize Vidhance, but some choose a flat yearly fee.

The remaining part of the income comes in licensing its own development programs or SDK, and maintenance fees.

With a team of about 40, Imint currently provides its applications to 20 clients across the world, for instance, Chinese big-four of Huawei, Xiaomi, Oppo and Vivo in addition to chip giants such as Qualcomm and Mediatek. ByteDance also includes a deal to bake Imint’s applications into Smartisan, which offered its core technologies into the TikTok parent this past year.

Thus far, the company has been immune in the U.S.-China commerce worries, but Lifvendahl feared as the 2 superpowers proceed towards technological self-reliance, outsiders such as itself will probably have a more difficult time entering both respective niches.

“We’re in a small, neutral country but are also a little business, so we’re not a tactical threat to anybody. We come in and help solve a mystery,” assured that the creator.

Amelia Scott

Amelia is a content manager of The Next Tech. She also includes the characteristics of her log in a fun way so readers will know what to expect from her work.

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