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Entries in Object Recognition (11)

Monday
Jul302012

Object Recognition Gets Sweeter with Baked Goods Recognition System

Object recognition technology isn't just for people-counting anymore. Now, it's moving to your grocer's checkout lane.

Brain Corp. has developed a system that can individually identify individual types of baked goods on a tray in just one second, according to DigInfo. The first POS-object recognition trial was just successfully completed at a Tokyo bakery store.

The creators explained the need for such technology:

"Part-time staff sometimes can't remember the names of baked goods. But with this system, the names of the goods appear on screen, so staff can work at the cash register on their first day. So we think it can improve efficiency overall, especially when there's a long queue, because the balance can be tallied instantly."

This system can be used for virtually all merchandise in the store, and the creators see it being useful for other items that are easily distinguished by shape, like fruit and medicine.

When an item has been identified correctly, the system outlines it in green. If there's any doubt, a yellow outline appears, and the staff member can choose from a list of possible products. Repeating this process makes the system even smarter.

Friday
Jul292011

Facial Recognition Tech Evolves to Recognize Places

Image Credit: PopPhoto.com

Facial recognition seems to be everywhere these days. And now, the same technology is going to be used to identify places, not people, and hopefully help combat terrorism.

The Intelligence Advanced Research Projects Activity(IARPA), a research division of the U.S. military, is working on new software that will identify the location of photographs, much like facial recognition recognizes your friends' faces on Facebook. The project, called Finder, seeks to help in hunting down terrorism suspects in photographs, even when no GPS metadata is available.

If the military wants to get an idea of where a photograph was taken, a rather arduous process ensues: over a long period of time, highly trained professionals try and match backgrounds to known areas. You can imagine how time-consuming that must be. This is why the Finder project seeks to automate that process as much as possible, making it faster and easier.

In the end, military officials could use the program to cross-reference a whole series of images off of an extremist website or message board, and then figure out where they were taken.

Monday
Jul252011

Face-Off: Google Continues Computer Vision Acquisitions with PittPatt

Announced earlier today, Google bought PittPatt, also known as Pittsburgh Pattern Recognition, a computer vision start-up out of Carnegie Mellon. This follows the acquisition Neven Vision in 2006 (whose technology is already seen in Picasa).
Guesses on what this means for Google and its users? While it's likely to be used to ensure better facial and object recognition for things like landmarks in Goggles, Picasa and Image Search, long-term use cases could include opting for facial recognition to login into your Android or Chromebook. And as Kit Eaton of Fast Company notes, the investment could also impact Google+ in the shorter term, with people's profiles automatic linking to images and video uploaded by other users.
Google's own Eric Schmidt has been quick to point out that user privacy is of utmost importance, particularly around facial recognition, and the company will be careful to learn from previous lessons around Wave and Buzz (and Facebook's own facial recognition offering recently prompting concerns). 
However, as this acquisition shows, ongoing conversations are not stopping the company from investing in the technology first. Check out PittPatt's FaceSort demo (which helps users label and sort photos and videos) above.
Tuesday
Jul192011

App Uses Object Recognition to Give Sight to the Blind

Oh, the places smartphones are going. When tech developers combine the capabilities of an iPhone camera with object recognition software, the possibilities are seemingly endless.

Take for instance a new app called Money Reader. It enables your iPhone to identify dollar bills, from $1 to $100, in real-time. It's fast to announce the value of each bill, letting a user count or sort cash quickly.

Money Reader was designed to let people with a visual impairment accurately count their money. But developer LookTel is also working on technology that would use object recognition to identify landmarks, recognize objects and even read text. The company said it may even combine the software with GPS and maps to provide a voice guidance system for the blind.

Thursday
Jun022011

Love Shazam? Now Your Phone Can ID Videos, Episodes and Celebrities

If you're entertained by the Shazam music-recognition app, you're going to love this.

VideoSurf, a leader in video discovery, has announced a new mobile app available on Verizon smartphones that lets customers discover, search and identify video available on any device – including TV episodes, movies, music videos and video clips – by doing a visual and audio search, or by typing a query directly into the app.  

Discover videos by simply pointing your phone at a TV or computer screen to capture a few seconds of what you're watching.  The patented computer vision technology quickly identifies the episode and celebrities, provides more information about what was identified and suggests other videos to watch.  You can even let your friends know what you're watching and help them discover new videos or other content by posting directly to Facebook and Twitter.

In addition to audio recognition, VideoSurf uses proprietary visual recognition technology to "see" inside videos, providing superior results and an enhanced user experience.

The VideoSurf mobile app is available for free on select Verizon smartphones with V CAST Apps.  The app will be preloaded on additional 4G LTE smartphones available from Verizon Wireless later this year.