Mobile Object Recognition


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This MU Emerging Technologies mid-term presentation was a high-level exploration of cutting edge technologies. I chose mobile object recognition as my topic focusing on a few new apps: Google Goggles, LookTel's Money Reader and Recognizer.

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  • Have you ever wondered about certain landmarks like the Brooklyn Bridge? Or want to know more about a certain book? Or asked yourself I wonder who painted that masterpiece and what is its name? Well, this curiosity can be satisfied by a new technology called Mobile Object Recognition. This technology is sometimes called image recognition, virtual search or even visual search.
  • So what is mobile object recognition? The best way to explain it is to show it to you in action. One of the better examples is Google Goggles. As you can see, all the user needs to do is point the device at the object and the click. The app will then run a search. The results will be displayed similar to the image displayed on the right. The result are limited to 3 to 5 pages though. This app works well with iconic landmarks, books, artwork, logos and wine labels. However, there are many common and everyday items like plants, animals, furniture, and cars, it struggles to recognize.
  • Another feature of Google Goggles is that it can read text from business cards and import the information directly into the mobile device’s contacts. This is useful for networking situations where business cards are being handed out. The user does not have to keep track of the cards collected when using this app.
  • Another feature is the ability to translate. By utilizing Google Translate functionality, Google Goggles is able to translate text into 40 different languages. So the example shown here is a menu in German and by using the Goggles app, the user is able to understand the items on the menu. This could be used for foreign signage, even short text in foreign language books. I am planning on using it to help me translate German genealogy books.
  • A fun feature is its ability to solve Sudoku puzzles. If you are getting frustrated solving that Sudoku puzzle no fear. Goggles is able to solve the puzzle for you. According to Google, this application is still in development though. Many feel that the peak of this technology will not be for another 5 to 10 years. Currently, there are many kinks that it needs to be worked out before it can be truly used in everyday scenarios.
  • Beyond Google Goggles, there is a company called LookTel who is using Object Recognition to aid low vision or blind persons. They have two apps: Money Reader and Recognizer. Money Reader enables people with visual impairments or blindness to quickly and easily identify and count bills. Basically, once the currency has been identified, the app will say the denomination out loud. Money Reader is able to recognize US Dollars, Euros, British Pounds, Canadian Dollars and Australian Dollars. In addition, it is able to say the denominations in 13 languages.
  • The other app is called Recognizer. This app allows users with visual impairments or blindness to instantly recognize everyday objects such as packaged goods in the pantry, identity cards, soda cans at the grocery store, or CDs in a music collection. This app does NOT come with a populated image library though. So to actually use this app, the image library needs to be set up. It is recommended that a sighted person assist in creating and customizing the image library. However, once this is complete, the visually impaired or blind person can scan the object and then the app will use VoiceOver to say the object out loud. One of the great things about this app is that it can be used offline, the image library is stored locally.
  • So how can this current technology be used in libraries today? How about being able to scan a book’s cover and receive similar books or other library materials within the library collection and maybe even mobile checkout. I am sure that there are many more ways that the current technology can be used. In the next couple of years, this technology is going to morph into unchartered projects. A technology that is already being explore is the creation of apps that make shelf reading and inventory check easier. The development of object recognition software is truly in its infancy. Currently, Google and other companies have limited capabilities on what they are able to recognize but this is just the beginning.
  • Mobile Object Recognition

    1. 1. Mobile Object Recognition
    2. 2. Personal Image Credit: American Art MuseumEver wonder about these?Curiosity is satisfied by Mobile Object Recognition
    3. 3. Google Goggles
    4. 4. Google Goggles - ContactsImport text from business card directly intodevices contacts
    5. 5. Google Goggles - TranslateAble to translate to 40 different languages
    6. 6. Google Goggles – Sudoku SolvingNever have to wonder what the answer to thepuzzle is anymore
    7. 7. LookTel – Aiding Low Vision or BlindnessMoney Reader•Recognizes currency andspeaks the denomination • US Dollar, Euro, British Pound, Canadian Dollar, & Australian Dollar•Audio available in 13languages
    8. 8. LookTel – Aiding Low Vision or BlindnessRecognizer•Identifies everydayitems like food andlandmarks • Usable offline•Customized imagelibrary•VoiceOver•Apple products only
    9. 9. Library Uses• Suggest similar books in the library collection• Shelf Reading and Inventory• Mobile Checkout
    10. 10. Credits• Google Mobile --• LookTel --• Augmented Reality for Shelf Reading -- v=NgZVI630SsI• American Art Museum --• Mobile Devices in Library Instruction -- 12234037• Mobile Library Trends 2011 -- library-trends-nela-june-2011