You Can Actually Use the IR Camera on Your Pixel 4

The result is a new and rather spooky-looking night vision selfie mode, presented in glorious low-resolution black and white. This lack of picture quality comes as no surprise as the IR sensors are designed to power the phone’s face unlock feature, not for taking photos. However, it looks as though Google’s camera API currently presents the output of the IR sensors to apps as though they were normal imaging units.

According to the original Reddit post, web pages granted access to your Pixel 4’s camera will be offered the IR mode as will certain third-party Android apps such as HedgeCam2. Not all apps are able to access the IR camera, however. Instagram, VSCO and Facebook Messenger, for example, all remain unaffected.

The original poster goes on to comment that covering the left IR sensor in ‘night vision’ mode blocks out the entire , but that covering the right-hand side of the phone merely results in a much darker . This suggests to me that the camera app only has access to the left of the two IR sensors. The right-hand side of the phone houses a ‘Face Unlock Flood Illuminator’ which supplies additional infrared light to help the IR sensors see in the dark. Blocking this illuminator makes the picture dimmer. MORE FOR YOU

Being restricted to low-resolution selfies, this secret mode isn’t a whole lot of use for serious night vision purposes. More interesting to me is the further insight given into the inner workings of Google’s camera hardware. However, I’m sure Pixel fans will come up with some creative uses, assuming Google doesn’t fix the issue right away.

How to unlock the infrared camera hidden inside the Pixel 4

You Can Actually Use the IR Camera on Your Pixel 4

So grab HedgeCam 2 from the Play Store. Open the app to the main screen and tap the camera switch icon twice to jump into the IR camera. Youll notice the colors shift to an inverted look — you can now see in the dark using your Pixel 4.

You can snap a photo or record a video using the IR camera. Though its not a very high-resolution camera mode (640 x 480), itll still make for some interesting shots you couldnt get with a regular RGB cam. You can even get your inner ghost hunter on while youre at it!

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How To Take Infrared Selfies With the Google Pixel 4

According to the original Reddit post, web pages granted access to your Pixel 4’s camera will be offered the IR mode as will certain third-party Android apps such as HedgeCam2. Not all apps are able to access the IR camera, however. Instagram, VSCO and Facebook Messenger, for example, all remain unaffected.

The result is a new and rather spooky-looking night vision selfie mode, presented in glorious low-resolution black and white. This lack of picture quality comes as no surprise as the IR sensors are designed to power the phone’s face unlock feature, not for taking photos. However, it looks as though Google’s camera API currently presents the output of the IR sensors to apps as though they were normal imaging units.

The original poster goes on to comment that covering the left IR sensor in ‘night vision’ mode blocks out the entire , but that covering the right-hand side of the phone merely results in a much darker . This suggests to me that the camera app only has access to the left of the two IR sensors. The right-hand side of the phone houses a ‘Face Unlock Flood Illuminator’ which supplies additional infrared light to help the IR sensors see in the dark. Blocking this illuminator makes the picture dimmer. MORE FOR YOU

Being restricted to low-resolution selfies, this secret mode isn’t a whole lot of use for serious night vision purposes. More interesting to me is the further insight given into the inner workings of Google’s camera hardware. However, I’m sure Pixel fans will come up with some creative uses, assuming Google doesn’t fix the issue right away.

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