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Microsoft Research pushes out Blink rapid fire camera app for Windows Phone 8

Way back in September, Microsoft in conjunction with Nokia showed off a new Lens app called ‘Blink’. The app, a summer project by Microsoft Research, is a rapid fire camera program that will take numerous photos and then let you select which is best.

The app is kind of ingenious though because it won’t flood your Camera Roll with 20 shots of the same kid running in the backyard. Instead, you save the shot (or shots) you want to your Camera Roll and then later, you can re-open that “project” in Blink to grab a different pic, if you so choose.

The Lens should be particularly useful for those with fast moving pets or for you breeders out there with kids. Instead of trying to capture that “one” photo, you can instead act like a sport photographer at the Super Bowl, picking one of a dozen photos you snapped.

We should note that images are not saved at their full resolution but are instead scaled down to 1280x720. That’s not terrible and is probably a necessary tradeoff for the super-fast processing of many shots on the phone, still it’s something you should know.

You can watch the above demo video by Microsoft Research to get a better idea of how it all works, or just hop to the Store for Windows Phone 8 and pick it up here. Thanks, Hiiiii, for the tip

QR: Blink



There are 89 comments. Sign in to comment

Thanks Daniel for letting me know this app was released! Thanks to you I stay up to date with my Phone

Where's the download app button?!

Wait a few minutes and refresh the article or open it in IE.


Love my job, since I've been bringing in $5600… I sit at home, music playing while I work in front of my new iMac that I got now that I'm making it online.(Click Home information)

Really great lens. Love it.

dnmartin98 says:  :-)

Agreed, I laughed when he called people "breeders."

tallgeese says:

Yeah, LOL!!!

autumnride says:

Can't find the app in the German store..

tissotti says:

Always use the QR code. It's faster than anything else. Your phone after all has QR code reader integrated to it. 

radde says:

I simply used the QR image in the article and it worked like a charm - Couldn't find it by searching the store manually either.

adrian1338 says:

For this you should use the camera with the lense "bing vision" and wait till it autofocuses on the QR code.
this is the big matrix code that you cant read

JigShah says:

I wonder if a future update to this app will allow you to save the entire 'blink' as a GIF!

apocacrux says:

If you have a Nokia phone then you already have Cinemagraph for that.

tissotti says:

That's exactly what Nokia's Cinemagraph does.

venetasoft says:

Turbo Camera makes gif too ;)

TechAbstract says:

I have Turbo Camera. Cinemagraph, and now Blink lol

cdb033 says:

Love the vid

ArcticUK says:

A must have for non-breeders with cats ;)

Tiwo says:

So Daniel, no 620 review this week :>? Or is it like a superbowl final surprise? ;)

Sorry, the 7.8 news this week and other MS announcements kept me busy. Will try to have it in the next few days.

Tiwo says:

Haha no worries m8 :). All the time in the world

procen says:

Having this problem "We can't connect to the store right now. Check your data connection or try again later". I'm hooked up to my wifi at home. I guess the store is down again?

mrshamoozoo says:

same thing happened to me. ended up downloading it from the windowsphone website

ExcaliburII says:

keep trying it took me a couple of tries but got through to it.

Why is such an app WP8 only surely WP7.X devices have the hardware for this??

TK2011 says:

Try Turbo Camera.

Hiiiiiiiii says:

Did you read the article Even WP8 cameras can't handle full resolution,

hary536 says:

IF you have Nokia, they have/will have Cinemagraph/SmartShoot. 

sanders2232 says:

Omg this lense rocks!!!! Works great, thank you.

TK2011 says:

Awsome app!!! Thank you Microsoft Research! I was looking for something like this. WP7 users who can't get this might want to check out Turbo Camera. It does something similar. I think it can actually do faster shooting but downside is picture resolution is smaller. For me 720p from Blink is just about right.

therealper says:

this could be killer app. a++++ app

At the beach says:

Been waiting for something that could compete with the HTC One X and Samsung Galaxy 3 on this feature.  Tried it out and seems to work great!  A great complement for the somewhat slow shutter speed of the 920.

bawboh86 says:

I really like the app and the idea, but I wonder how much it'll fill my potentially irrecoverable "Other" storage.

AzelDazel says:

Awesome app, works brilliant. Would never have known about it if it wasn't for WPC!

lucatello13 says:

yippie. But where is photosynth??? Tell me Daniel, tell me...

I feel like I should just be grateful, but this is the exact thing I was thinking too.

Viipottaja says:

Looks promising! The resolution is a slight concern though for printing or viewing on larger screens.. Wonder if they could manage higher res if they limited it to say 5 or 10 shots?

Brandon619 says:

Got it on my 8x :) yep wish it was little more higher res

sanders2232 says:

I love the app and we needed this pretty bad. Now will see what the quality is like, if it degrades the resolution using the feature but moving in the right direction! :)

Tomasz S. says:

The app crashed when I clicked on the front camera switch. When I opened the app again, it crashed the whole phone.
Well done, Microsoft, great job!

Tomasz S. says:

Oh, and after the phone rebooted I wanted to mark my messenger coonversation as read in Skype, but the phone froze while loading Skype. I had to pop out battery, which is a really annoying thing to do in the 820, when you just had your fingernails clipped short.
But please, Microsoft, take your time. Don't hurry with the Portico update, or with the final Skype client. Patience is such a virtue.

Im all for cool apps and stuff... But they should really be spending their time improving the OS. I got my 920 yesterday and the battery is pants, im to afraid to use it incase it dies. After 6 hours in at 27% with most stuff turned off. Not happy really

Dare2Blink says:

Just make sure you update your phone and update skype. That should fix all your baterry problems. My phone is lasting around 11 to 13 hours easily with moderate use.

adrian1338 says:

11 - 13 hours.. easily .. such a joke.. how can this be satisfying for a mobil phone..

Hiiiiiiiii says:

> Just make sure you update your phone and update skype
We would if Nokia did not block update for unlocked Lumias

procen says:

Some apps will drain your battery, and the only solution is to reboot your phone.

Bugbog says:

Most batteries are usually "pants" when you start using them for the first time. Your phone isn't going to automatically give you great battery life out of the box! You need to condition it.
Run the battery down till it auto-switches off. Re-charge for 8-10hrs, and allow to disharge fully again.
This will now give your phone an average of 16 - 26hrs of moderate to fairly heavy usage!

polychromenz says:

Don't need nails. Press camera and pull. Corner. Pops off, no scratches and no nails

Tomasz S. says:

I figured out the pushing camera na pulling corner trick. But it still was hard, the thing kept going back into place, before I could detach it further. It's the first time I opened it since I put on the charging cover. The original non-charging was easier to take off as far as I can remember.
Anywho, apps crashing or freezing the whole OS is sooo Windows 95. 
Was WP7 also that unstable at RTM? I got my first one after NoDo, and had less issues through 15 months than through 3 months with WP8.

Ixolite says:

Same here, first time something crashed my L820

juan6996 says:

Now we just need photosynth and instagram and Pandora and temple run and all the other broken app promises from the WP8 Summit...

None are broken promises. I don't recall an Instagram promise from the start, Pandora was called a 2013 release, and I don't know with Temple Run, but I'm pretty sure it's coming.

Hiiiiiiiii says:

Temple Run was promsied for 2012 holiday

Pandora was promised for early 2013, it's feb now early 2013 means january

Chi28n2k says:

Who needs Instagrain, and Temple Run? I'd love a port of The Gunstringer endless runner, from Win8, and even though I don't like making beautiful pics turn to crap, there's FhotoRoom, for that, if you like. I agree, they should hurry, with PhotoSynth. I use MetroRadio, for Pandora. Its pretty nicely laid out.

carlosrdd says:

Anyone else getting store error ?

interopbyt says:

I got that same error but for me it's fixed now

hbkzara says:

this app reminds me of the burst feature on the HTC one x...

lippidp says:

Rad. Will get once I go WP8. Looks similar to the BB10 feature, whatever they call it. It's great to know that WP also has it.

ricocchet says:

Very good lense!
Works great on HTC 8X well done Microsoft :)

Awesome app. Shoots faster than SmartShoot. Although do any of you know the pros and cons of each? I am almost tempted to use Blink as a primary.

TK2011 says:

SmartShoot get you full resolution pictures while Blink is limited to 720px. I guess that's how Blink can manage to shoot much faster. 720px is still pretty nice and good enough to post on FB and etc.

sanders2232 says:

Ya agreed definitely see a difference in the quality but not terrible for FB.

venetasoft says:

The fastest is Turbo Camera with over 30fps (vga mode, but ok for sharing)

PaulinSussex says:

One less thing for the Blackberry 10 brigade to say is unique to them and their new OS / devices. Time Shift is now covered by Blink and Nokia's own apps

sdreamer says:

I don't think there was anything unique about them except their UI. Predictive text? We have Wordflow. Time Shift? We've had Smart Shot. Active panes? We have Live Tiles. Lol

ny_yankees says:

good app to have. Thanks

Morq says:

Doesnt work, restarts phone when used. (Lumia 820)

sdreamer says:

Wish Microsoft would throw this out toe WP7.x phones too, it's pretty nifty, tried it on a 920. We have Turbocam, but that isn't free :( Smartshot and Action Shot just don't work as well on WP7 Lumias :(

It's post super bowl, I lost $20, but I like the cat pic in this article :)

wpinfected says:

Is this app only Exclusive for Windows Phones or this is already been released in other mobile OS?

gilesjuk says:

BB10 has a much nicer UI for a similar feature. Why can't they just add better features to the built in camera? They call these lenses but in reality they are just standalone apps launched from the main camera app.

venetasoft says:

Is bb still on business?

HaibaneReki says:

how better would You do it?

bb10_fan says:

Wasn't something similar availbale from Nokia before? Can't remember the name for that app

venetasoft says:

Turbo Camera ?

HaibaneReki says:

SmartShoot, but that wasn't burst camera, just 5 different takes. (BB copies that in TimeShitft) ;)

bb10_fan says:

That could be the one. BB didn't copy, it licenced it, from Scalado, company that Nokia bought and integrated their techs into Lumia ;)

HaibaneReki says:

yeah whatever =P

fredie12 says:

GREAT APP my wife has a sixth sense and "blinks" on 99% of photo's already got nokia smart shoot but this minght be better fingers crossed? great review by the way thanks.

Raesu says:

And still no photosynth...incredible.

geminiman7 says:

Can Microsoft FOCUS on giving us the missing features that we NEED in WP8, instead of releasing stuff that we really don't need? Many things need to be fixed/added in Wp8 and they keep releasing mess like this. SMH
(Yes I'm upset)

welsbloke says:

Had a bit of fun with this app today comparing the burst mode on the S3 with my 920 running blink. The idea was to take a picture of a screwdriver being dropped onto a table from about 2 foot. The 920 using blink took some well captured shots typically captureing three shots of the screwdriver in flight compared to one blurry shot on the S3. Was a bit of fun and suprised us both by the quality and how fast it captured the images. When we first did this we did not really expect to capture multiple shots in flight. Just to clarify the screwdriver was blurred but everything else looked well focused compared the S3 which was out of focus and slower.

Anthony Tan1 says:

superb apps... fast and sharp too... if only i could select and save a few pictures out of all the frames.. that would be better

JConn_Lefty says:

is it just me or is this app having trouble today?  i tried downloading this app today and its giving me error message.