Quirky iPhone app takes pixel peeping into the real world


posted Tuesday, November 26, 2013 at 5:09 PM EST


We've seen more than a few iOS camera apps over the years, but this one has to rank as among the most unusual. Created by Junsik Kang of Seoul, Korea-based software developer J2WORK, the 'I PIXEL U' app does pretty much what it says on the label. Take a photo or grab one from your gallery, and I PIXEL U will pixelate your subject while leaving the background untouched, creating something reminiscent of a 1980s video game character roaming the real world.

It's one of those effects which is really eyecatching now, because it's still fresh -- but in six months time it's bound to have become cliche. So if you'd like to give it a try, the time is ripe, before all your friends have seen the effect. You'll be the 8-bit envy of everyone in your social media circles!

I PIXEL U locates faces automatically, and uses these to set pixel size for the image.

Grab the I PIXEL U app from the iTunes store, where it's impulse-buy priced at around US$3. As well as your iPhone with iOS 7, it's compatible with the iPad and iPod Touch. It's said to work best with the iPhone 5. It includes face detection -- used to set the pixel size, and you can manually specify the same for subjects without faces -- and a masking tool to isolate the remainder of your subject from the background.

I PIXEL U can pixelate non-human subjects, as well. Pixelated bench -- why? Why not!