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 Can't find the words? Google with a photo instead

This story is from the category Artificial Intelligence
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Date posted: 15/12/2009

Smartphone users no longer need to think up an appropriate phrase when searching the web on the go ? at least, not if they are using Google's Android operating system.

"You take a picture of an item and use that picture as the query," explains Vic Gundotra, one of Google's vice presidents for engineering.

The service, called Goggles, attempts to identify the object ? for example, it might recognise a landmark like the Golden Gate bridge in San Francisco ? and returns a page of conventional search results, as if a user had typed the name of the landmark. Goggles can also identify artworks and extract the text from a photo, for example of a business card. It might find places to buy a product you've seen or identify local attractions.

When a user takes a photograph, Goggles sends the image to a Google server where it is analysed by algorithms looking for "signatures" of objects within the image, says Gundotra. The signature is then compared against a database of more than a billion images.

"The best matches are ranked and sent back down to your device, all in a fraction of a second," says Gundotra.

See the full Story via external site: www.newscientist.com



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