Qualcomm has come up with a rather interesting press release. The American chipset maker hailed Motorola's Moto Z2 Force and X4 models as being the first commercially available smartphones to use Qualcomm's Neural Processing Engine (NPE) for "Landmark Detection", one of their distinctive camera features.
Okay, so what does Landmark Detection do? Basically, you can use the camera app of the Z2 Force and X4 to identify more than 1,200 landmarks from around the world in near real-time. After the phone recognizes the notable site, additional information such as informational widgets for Google Maps and Wikipedia also appear. Below, you can see a visual representation of the feature.
The deep learning model behind Landmark Detection uses Qualcomm's NPE. The speed at which objects are recognized comes from the fact that the NPE distributes the workload to the GPU's of the X4 and Z2 Force.
In case you're wondering, this Neural Processing Engine is a software framework that provides developers with tools that accelerate neural network workloads (like Landmark Detection) on mobile devices. It's made to work with Snapdragon 600 and 800 series chipsets. Developers can also choose to distribute these workloads to the Kryo CPU and the Hexagon Digital Signal Processor (DSP). This approach differs from Apple's A11 chip and Huawei's Kirin 970, as they feature dedicated hardware for such tasks.
Qualcomm says that Landmark Detection is only one example of what's possible for this AI tool. It will be interesting to see if other OEMs also start employing the Neural Processing Engine for their mobile app experiences.