Pixel 6 Adds Real Tone for Better Photo Equity

Google strives to be more inclusive for people of color

As part of the company’s inclusion and equity efforts, Google said it has improved its facial detection technology with a feature called Real Tone in its new Pixel 6 phone.

According to the feature page, Real Tone allows the Pixel 6 to more accurately display different skin tones and better highlight the details. Google says it worked closely with photographers who identify as people of color (POC) to learn how to improve its facial detection technology.

Real Tone in Action


Google used the feedback to increase the amount of POC images for training the photo AI included with the Pixel 6. This diversification allowed the device’s face detector to better learn and see different faces in various lighting conditions.

The team behind Real Tone also improved the algorithms powering the software by changing the white balance and exposure models. These changes will show users how they truly look, instead of having artificially different skin tones.

Google also claims that people with darker skin tones worry about blurry photos. To remedy this, the Pixel 6 will use its powerful Tensor processor to make photos sharper.

Real Tone Portrait


In addition to the Pixel 6 changes, Google Photos’ auto-enhance feature will get an update so it can work across all skin tones. The update will roll out to Android and iOS devices in the coming weeks.

Google says that its research teams continue to look for more ways to better display different skin tones using AI.

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