Prisma: the photo app that is more than just paint-by-numbers

Moderator (Retired)

Prisma has only been available since June yet it’s already clocked over 10 million downloads on iOS alone. It’s now available on Android devices too, and is changing the mobile phone photography landscape with it's use of AI artistic techniques instead of conventional filters.

Prisma is a new free photo editing app. This is me using it. But there's a twist.


Instead of applying filters to change contrast, colours or fill, Prisma appears to turn your photos into a work of art (subject permitting). The photo above isn't actually a photo, or a treated photo. It's been reworked in a chosen style, based on my photo.

There's over 30 different styles inspired by famous artists from the heavy brushwork of Van Gogh to the pop art of Lichtenstein, from Japanese manga to Mondrian. 

OriginalOriginalPrisma 'Dreams'Prisma 'Dreams'

Like all other photo apps, it provides you with the option to either save them to your device or share your images via social networks. It's fair to say that your selfie game is going to take on a whole new level thanks to this app.

We've tested it out on an iPhone, and it's really easy to see what sets it apart from other editing apps already available on the market and as you can see from the pictures, the results are fantastic.

Neural Networks meets AI

The app scans the data of your pictures and according to the creators it uses a “unique combination of neural networks and artificial intelligence” to re-imagine your photos in the style of your chosen artist.

Neural networking was designed to see how computers could be taught to understand and identify objects, animals and people in images. Different layers in the network examine varying aspects of the image, interpreting it in a certain way and then finally draw up an answer.

Unlike the majority of photo apps, the image processing takes place on Prisma's servers. This means it can take a few moments for your photo to inspire a new picture but it's worth it.


What's next? 

For you, you're probably going to install it - that's understandable. 

And those of you on Facebook have already been seeing the Dream style everywhere.

But what's really exciting is the prospect of Prisma video. We've seen a small clip of this already, and it's incredible.

You can download Prisma for iOS or Prisma for Android

So, if you’ve been using this app already or have just rushed to download it then let us know what you think of it - and post your photos - in the comments section below.