Today is a great day for members of the EyeEm community that like to shoot with their mobile device. The EyeEm team just unveiled the next innovation of the EyeEm app for iOS and Android devices: a feature that uses computer vision to suggest which of your images you should upload.

The new feature promises to help you find the best photos on your phone by scanning your photo library and using computer vision technology to suggest photos to upload. Scanning is secure – because it all happens on your phone, meaning that no one else ever sees your images.

Once the feature is fully rolled out (currently Android only, but iOS will be coming in a few weeks) the EyeEm Selects function will be found within the image uploader.

Many of us have already been testing a similar feature for a while now in the EyeEm sister app called ‘The Roll’.

Remembering ‘The Roll’

Now, it appears as though The Roll was a clever way of testing the advanced technologies that EyeEm was planning to roll out (no pun intended). In case you haven’t used or heard of app, the basic premise is that it would scan the image library on your device and then would be able to do some really clever things, such as:

  • Use computer vision technology to group photos based on their category.

  • Highlight the best images based on the EyeEm Vision aesthetics rating.

  • Automatically tag your images with keywords such as ‘hat’, ‘man’ and ‘shirt’.

Frankly, I had never seen anything like this before and this was my first experience with computer vision technology. To have an app be able to tell me what was in a photo and give it a score was almost like magic.

The technology was so impressive that Apple also featured it in a demo at WWDC16.

The Problem With The Roll

As impressive as The Roll was there was still one major flaw which was the ultimate reason I didn’t get much use out of it. See the technology was amazing, it could tell me which photos to upload by giving them a score and it could automatically keyword them but…

Sharing the image from the The Roll to the EyeEm app didn’t transfer with it the keywords.

This was a glaring flaw because at the time when The Roll was released, EyeEm had not yet added the auto keyword tagging feature to their mobile and desktop upload service. I know, imagine a time when you had to actually type in keywords yourself! Dark days indeed.

EyeEm Borrows From The Roll

EyeEm have since taken the automatic keyword featured and rolled it out across the service. It still amazes me and saves me so much time compared manually typing in every keyword like we used to. Now I can upload hundreds of images and they are all accurately tagged for me – it’s awesome.

With the introduction of EyeEm Selects it would now appear that they are introducing the other main feature of The Roll: using the EyeEm Vision technology to give your images an aesthetic score. Except, here they have gone one step further too…

The Roll was able to score images but was never able to do really anything with them. Now, with this technology built right in to the EyeEm app you not only will it be interesting to see which of your photos the technology thinks is a good shot, but you will actually be able to upload them to EyeEm too!

Welcoming ‘EyeEm Selects’

At the time of writing it appears as though The Roll app is no longer available (at least in the UK app store where I originally downloaded it from) which offers more weight to the idea of it as being a sort of proof of concept for what was to come. I still have the app installed on my phone but it looks like we should say our ‘goodbyes’ to The Roll and hopefully you will join me in welcoming EyeEm Selects.

For many EyeEm photographers EyeEm Selects is no big deal, but even though that may be the case the extra features won’t be a detriment to the usual experience.

No, that’s not my workflow and I think it does not fit for the workflow for DSLR (or mirrorless) photographers. – Michael Moeller (comment from our EyeEm Awesome! Facebook group.)

However, for many other users who use their mobile device as their main or side shooter it’s possible that the EyeEm Selects feature could be quite useful.

I’m just really curious what “hidden gems” are hiding in my iPhone – Lin Yun Heng (comment from our EyeEm Awesome! Facebook group.)

Although The Roll wasn’t perfect it did help me to find some shots that I had taken on my iPhone which I may have never got around to uploading. One particular shot which I uncovered was scored a 96% aesthetic with EyeEm Vision – so I figured, why not upload it and see what happens? Since then it has been sold through White Wall via the EyeEm Market so it was definitely worthwhile.


Overall I think the new EyeEm Selects feature will be a great addition to the already amazing tools available to us in the app. I’m excited to try it out and hopefully discover some more treasures trapped in the depths of my camera roll.

Over to you, what do you think about the new EyeEm Selects?