Florian Koenigsberger works at Google, where he led a team that developed and launched Real Tone*, a series of software improvements that made Google’s camera and image tools work more equitably for people of color, especially those with darker skin tones.
- Favorite Collegiate faculty member or class or activity?
Mr. Michael Rubin first put a camera in my hands. He was almost blindly encouraging, always telling us that even our worst pictures might have interesting ideas that we should keep exploring. My professional work today focuses on making camera and imagery tools that more equitably represent people of color, and the fire he stoked back in middle school absolutely played a role in getting me here.
- Proudest accomplishment (post-Collegiate)?
Launching Real Tone* at Google. The four-plus-year journey of building this idea from scratch, rallying a team of more than 100 behind the vision, and ultimately bringing to life the first iterations of this technology to help my and other communities of color feel accurately and beautifully seen by the tools we use every day… it’s been the ride—and honor—of my life (so far).
- You have the day off. How will you spend it?
Early morning boxing training. A too-long shower to detangle almost three years of uncut hair. Late breakfast at For All Things Good. A quick bike ride to run some questionably necessary errands—mostly just an excuse to blare music on my speaker while riding. An afternoon walk with a friend. A home-cooked meal with my lady, and then catching a Bucks game (or some other sports highlight reel) on the couch before drifting to sleep.
- One thing those who knew me at Collegiate would be surprised to learn about me now:
I don’t work in fashion (RIP FloC) or as an international translator.
- One thing about me that hasn’t changed since I went to Collegiate
Still wearing raw jeans. Still not washing ‘em.
*To see a demonstration of Real Tone on YouTube, click here.
Photo of Florian Koenigsberger taken with Real Tone by Keshia Hannam