A Review of Google’s New Mobile-Friendly AI Framework: Mediapipe

A Review of Google’s New Mobile-Friendly AI Framework: Mediapipe

A Review of Google’s New Mobile-Friendly AI Framework: Mediapipe. Mediapipe is an open-source framework to “build word-class machine learning solutions” by Google — currently in the alpha stage.

What is Mediapipe?

Mediapipe is an open-source framework to “build word-class machine learning solutions” by Google — currently in the alpha stage. It has been open-sourced for a year now but has likely been under development for far longer. A key “selling” point (it’s free) of Mediapipe is that the code is written in c++, but it can easily be deployed to any platform, from web assembly to Android to MacOS.

When it first released, Mediapipe had only a few demos, but now their GitHub page boasts almost a dozen different demos from persistent object tracking, AR hair coloring, to pose tracking that may leave OpenPose in the dust.

MediaPipe is Fast

When looking for hand tracking options, our team had two choices, OpenPose and MediaPipe. The first thing that stood out between the two was the absolute difference in speed. On an old Mac, MediaPipe had a sluggish 7 frames per second while OpenPose would be lucky to have 7 seconds per frame.

MediaPipe is able to achieve its speed thanks to the use of GPU acceleration and multi-threading. Such development techniques are generally difficult, but MediaPipe takes the reins and does them for you, so long as you follow good graph-making practices. The multi-threading and GPU acceleration allow newer phones to run away with frames, often being at FPS too high to see with the human eye. Although, don’t expect your Motorola from 2015 to keep up. The fact is machine learning is certainly a degree or ten more computationally complex than Flappy Bird.

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