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Making photos with the popular photo-editing app Prisma has required internet access. Not anymore, says Prisma Labs, which is announcing today that the iOS version of the app now lets you edit photos offline by running neural networks on your smartphone.

It’s part of a larger strategy to make Prisma faster and make more apps, bots, or services powered by neural networks.

“Neural networks work great with sound and voices also, but we need to focus on what we have first,” Prisma Labs cofounder and chief executive Alexey Moiseenkov told VentureBeat in an email.

Since its launch on iOS on June 11 and Android one month later, Prisma has been downloaded more than 50 million times.

Initially the offline version of the app only operated with half of Prisma’s 30-odd filters, Moiseenkov said.

The updated version of Prisma will also quicken the startup’s efforts to add Prisma filters to videos and virtual reality.

Photo processing used to take anywhere from a few seconds to more than a minute. With the new version of Prisma, the app will reduce processing times to about 3 seconds, the company said in a statement.

Also announced today, the release of Prisma’s first philanthropic filter.

Together with partner Elbi, an app that crowdfunds charities and causes, Prisma is giving users who modify a photo with the Love filter the option to donate $1 to charity.


Above: A photo modified by the Prisma Love filter. Credit: Khari Johnson

The first charity Elbi is working with is Post Pals. That means that each time you use the Love filter, you see the story of Issy, a 4-year-old with leukemia. Donations are made through the Elbi website.


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