When we see a picture of the Notorious B.I.G., the hook from Hypnotize starts streaming in our heads. Imagine if you will, an app that analyzes your picture and creates a soundtrack suited to you. Mhoto does just that, and it can synthesize an appropriate tune for any digital photograph. Mhoto's magic comes courtesy of some patent pending technology that analyzes a picture's saturation, brightness and contrast levels and uses that information to create music tailored to fit the feel of the photo -- and the company's working on a way to integrate facial recognition into the mix to make mood based music, too. Users also can choose what musical genre they want the generated tunes to come from (Hip Hop, Rock, Pop, etc.). The best part is, the heavy lifting is done in Amazon's cloud, so Mhoto can work on any device with a data connection, even a featurephone.
Why would you want the artificial synesthesia Mhoto provides? Imagine having a phone that can analyze your contacts' avatars and assign a unique and appropriate ringtone to each. Or, think about a DJ who takes photos of the crowd at a concert and incorporates the generated tunes into her ongoing performance to provide a truly tailored experience for her fans. Of course, the quality of the music generated by Mhoto is of the utmost importance, and while co-founder Daniel Ketter has a background in music production, Mhoto has enlisted the help of producer Dub Killer (who has produced for both Miley Cyrus and Selena Gomez) to inform the music composition algorithm. And, the company tells us that the platform can also enable specialized genres based upon a producer's specific sound -- so, in theory, you could have your very own theme song from a Dr.Dre, Timbaland or Rick Rubin algorithm should they choose to partner with Mhoto.
Right now, Mhoto is in its infancy, and has built its app solely to show off its technology. However, the plan is to license the tech to other companies for them to implement as they see fit. And, in fact, Mhoto's already drawing interest from Samsung, HTC and China Mobile. So, it might not be long before Mhoto's making music for folks around the world. Get a glimpse of that future in the video below.
Nicole Lee contributed to this report.