HTC introduces EYE Experience and updated Zoe

HTC introduces EYE Experience and updated ZoeDuring today's Double Exposure event, HTC unveiled the Desire EYE, RE camera and some software experiences to go with their new devices. Firstly we have the HTC EYE experience, which brings several camera functions to the latest HTC portfolio. Additionally Zoe will be coming out of beta with several enhancements and is event headed to iOS.

Besides HTC Zoe and HTC EYE, the company also promised an app to accompany the HTC RE which will be available on iOS and Android and help manage the portable camera.

HTC EYE Experience

The HTC EYE Experience (not to be confused with the HTC Desire EYE) is a software experience, meant to enhance the photography capabilities on your HTC smartphones. Obviously the 13MP front and rear cameras on the Desire EYE will be able to take the best advantage of some of these features, but the enhancements won't be limited to the newly announced device.

The EYE Experience will feature face detection and promises to bring video chatting to a whole new level. The software is said to follow your face, no matter where it is (as long as it's in front of the camera, of course), and keep it framed and stable within the window of the recipient. HTC also says that EYE Experience will be able to track up to 4 people's faces from a single camera, cropping them up and placing them in stable frames, making group video calls that much easier. Additionally, this will not require proprietary software to function and will work the same with all your favorite video chat apps.

The update will also bring new functions to the camera app, mainly aimed at broadening the use of the front camera and capturing selfies. The first one, is known as Split Capture and will allow you to take a snap with both cameras of the device at the same time, creating a split-screen photo, showing both the thing you were looking at, and your face at the same time.

Another selfie-centered feature is the Crop-Me-In, which works similar to Split Capture, however, it only uses the front camera to crop your face out and paste it somewhere in the scenery shot with the back camera.

Lastly, HTC added a Voice Selfie functionality to help users reduce the weird palm gymnastics and phone-drop risks, as it allows them to snap a selfie by just saying "say cheese" or "smile", or start video capturing by saying "action" or "rolling".

The HTC EYE Experience will also bring the new camera features of HTC Desire 820 (such as Face Fusion and Live Makeup) over to previously released high-range phones. There's a chance there will probably be a few more features, as HTC said that the "full feature list will be confirmed at roll-out".

The roll-out of the EYE Experience will begin "in the coming months" for the following listed devices:


The HTC Zoe app, which started its life as an HTC exclusive, was later made available to all Android devices (Android 4.3 and above) as a public beta. It has now graduated out of beta, reaching version 1.0 and will feature a slightly remodeled UI along with the likely bug fixes and improvements. It will also be available to iOS users (7.0 and above) in the next few months.

Zoe is a social app for interactive image sharing. It allows you to quickly create a slide show (the slide shows are called Zoes) with pictures and videos of your choice and share it with friends. The app connects you with others via a familiar-looking social feed, where you can quickly view what friends have shared and can even remix others' Zoes with your own pictures – a good way to share your perspectives from a trip you took together, for example.

The creation process for a Zoe is mostly automatic, allowing one to pick overlay effects, first and final frame, and whether the video clips will play the original audio or not. Otherwise, the app will pick a music, will randomize the order of the frames (unless told you want them chronologically), and do the frame transitions on its own. There is also an option for Zoe to automatically combine your pictures and media, based on time and location, we assume, and keep them on hold for reviewing and sharing.

HTC promises an update to Zoe's content engine to come later this year, which should make clips more interesting and "visually stunning".

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