Apple's image cutout feature in iOS 16 is the most fun thing to come out of WWDC 2022

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Apple's image cutout feature in iOS 16 is the most fun thing to come out of WWDC 2022

Out of all features Apple announced at its Worldwide Developer Conference (WWDC) last week, a new addition to Apple’s Visual Lookup system — a feature where you can “pick up” an object from a photo or a video with just a press of your finger — was the most fun.

While Apple introduced a number of interesting new features to its software during the event, those didn’t quite deliver the surprise and joy that comes from using the deceptively simple new photo cutout feature —  an enhancement to Apple’s existing Visual Lookup system. Launched last year with iOS 15, Visual Lookup today recognizes pets, plants, landmarks and other objects in your photos. But now, when you touch and hold on the subject of the image, you can actually lift it away from the background to use in other apps.

Essentially, the feature separates the photo’s background from the subject, then turns the subject into a separate image. This image can then be saved or dragged and dropped into a messaging app like iMessage or WhatsApp.

During the keynote, Apple described the addition as the product of an advanced machine learning model, which is accelerated by CoreML and the neural engine to perform 40 billion operations in milliseconds.

In early tests on the iOS 16 developer beta, the feature works surprisingly well with animals, humans and objects. We’ll likely see this feature used to create memes and uncountable animal stickers when it goes live.

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