Today Google announced something they omitted from the October 4th announcements of the Pixel 2 and Pixel 2 XL. Apparently both smartphones come equipped with a purpose built image processor that is currently waiting for software updates from Google to activate the processor. Google also plans to open up the processor to third party camera apps.

Google calls this processor the Pixel Visual Core.

From the Verge:

it is Google’s first custom system-on-a-chip (SOC) for consumer products. You can think of it as a very scaled-down and simplified, purpose-built version of Qualcomm’s Snapdragon, Samsung’s Exynos, or Apple’s A series chips. The purpose in this case? Accelerating the HDR+ camera magic that makes Pixel photos so uniquely superior to everything else on the mobile market. Google plans to use the Pixel Visual Core to make image processing on its smartphones much smoother and faster, but not only that, the Mountain View also plans to use it to open up HDR+ to third-party camera apps. Read the full story

I love cool surprises and this definitely qualifies as a good one.

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