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posted by n1 on Friday May 19, @08:41AM   Printer-friendly
from the believe-it-when-i-see-it dept.

Google has announced an augmented reality service that overlays information on top of objects seen by a smartphone camera:

On Wednesday, the search giant announced a big push into augmented reality, which overlays digital images on what you'd normally see through a camera.

The new technology, announced at the company's I/O developer conference, is called Google Lens. It's a way to use your phone's camera to search for information. For example, point your camera at that flower and Google will tell you what kind it is. Point it at a book, and you get information on the author and see reviews. Ditto with restaurants: You'll be able to see reviews and pricing information on a little digital card that appears above the building on your phone's screen.

[...] Google Lens marks a big, ambitious attempt by a mainstream company to get into augmented reality in a way we haven't much seen yet. Snapchat, Facebook and Instagram (owned by Facebook) use AR for now to make you laugh and smile with filters like rainbow vomit or Iron Man masks. That stuff is important, but Google is taking a different approach when it comes to AR: utility.

Indeed, photo filters are very important.


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  • (Score: 2) by kaszz on Friday May 19, @08:54AM (5 children)

    by kaszz (4211) on Friday May 19, @08:54AM (#512090) Journal

    Great! Now I can build a spamfilter for all those obnoxious bill boards. Added functionality can include face identification of undercover cops and background green/red light for anyone you meet. The future is so bright I got to wear Goooogle lenses ;-)

    • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Friday May 19, @09:10AM (2 children)

      by Anonymous Coward on Friday May 19, @09:10AM (#512095)

      Guess its a long beard and permanent sunglasses with a choice of stylish head garments from now on. Well, that is until they sell one of those stylish full body outfits from whatever that weird movie was called.

      Seriously thought, this is something that could be easily done with a decent free (not as in beer) app with some visual recognition algorithms. Just feed that with your general location into your preferred search engine, choose which services to use as a cross reference, and get some good data. Google will probably win out with speed as always, nothing beats the centralized database of everything hooked up to a server farm to make the NSA weep.

      • (Score: 2) by c0lo on Friday May 19, @10:13AM

        by c0lo (156) Subscriber Badge on Friday May 19, @10:13AM (#512105)

        Guess its a long beard and permanent sunglasses with a choice of stylish head garments from now on.

        Stylish you say... face/body painting, contact lenses, silicon masks. Goblin [cdninstagram.com], zombie [ind5.ccio.co], Joker [wallpaper-gallery.net],
        The Mask [comicvine.com]

      • (Score: 3, Informative) by Unixnut on Friday May 19, @11:27AM

        by Unixnut (5779) on Friday May 19, @11:27AM (#512119)

        > Well, that is until they sell one of those stylish full body outfits from whatever that weird movie was called.

        A scanner darkly?

        https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/A_Scanner_Darkly_%28film%29 [wikipedia.org]

        It was weird, but prescient, as most dystopian stories end up reality it seems, unfortunately (we could do with some utopian stories coming to life, but alas, life doesn't seem to be like that).

    • (Score: 2) by butthurt on Friday May 19, @11:42PM (1 child)

      by butthurt (6141) on Friday May 19, @11:42PM (#512438) Journal

      Much as a certain ad-blocker has a white-list for advertisers who have paid the ad-blocking company, I would expect Google Lens to replace non-Google advertising with advertising from Google.

  • (Score: 4, Insightful) by Snospar on Friday May 19, @10:31AM (2 children)

    by Snospar (5366) Subscriber Badge on Friday May 19, @10:31AM (#512111)

    Well at least now we know why Google Photos offers everyone free unlimited photo storage forever... they needed all the meta data to train their AI expert system so it could classify and categorise all the objects that people point their cameras at.

    Now... profit?

    • (Score: 2) by butthurt on Friday May 19, @12:02PM (1 child)

      by butthurt (6141) on Friday May 19, @12:02PM (#512126) Journal

      I think you mean a neural network rather than an expert system (both are AI). Otherwise yes, that sounds like something Google would do.

      • (Score: 2) by Snospar on Friday May 19, @03:06PM

        by Snospar (5366) Subscriber Badge on Friday May 19, @03:06PM (#512210)

        I'm sure there is a pseudo-neural network buzzing away in the background recursively feeding back and refining the output (and the algorithm to reach the output) but I still fall short of classing that as "Artificial Intelligence".

        I know I'm probably in the minority these days but I'd like to reserve that term for when true machine intelligence is created. Tom-ay-toes/tom-ah-toes I guess.

  • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Friday May 19, @11:24AM

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday May 19, @11:24AM (#512118)

    Extracting even more information from suckers.

  • (Score: 3, Informative) by LoRdTAW on Friday May 19, @12:13PM (1 child)

    by LoRdTAW (3755) Subscriber Badge on Friday May 19, @12:13PM (#512130)

    On Wednesday, the search giant announced a big push into augmented advertising, which overlays digital ads on what you'd normally see through a camera.
    The new advertising technology, announced at the company's I/O developer conference, is called Google Lens. It's a way for google to use your phone's camera to gather information. For example, point your camera at that flower and Google will tell you what kind it is and a link to a special offer from Lowes to buy said flower. Point it at a book, and you get pricing and offers from select advertising partners such as amazon. Ditto with restaurants: You'll be able to see reviews and pricing information while a competitior who paid google gives you a better offer on a digital card that appears above the building on your phone's screen.
    [...] Google Lens marks a big, ambitious attempt by a mainstream marketing company to get into augmented advertising in a way we haven't much seen yet. Snapchat, Facebook and Instagram (owned by Facebook) use AR for now to make you laugh and smile with filters like rainbow vomit or Iron Man masks. That stuff is important, but Google is taking a different approach when it comes to AR: making shit loads of money.

    FTFY.

    • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Friday May 19, @02:19PM

      by Anonymous Coward on Friday May 19, @02:19PM (#512183)

      Won't be long before you point your phone camera at a car and it starts sending you car ads.

      I used to be really good at the kids travel game of guessing the make/model/year of different cars seen on a trip, but this probably spoils that fun.

  • (Score: 1) by lonehighway on Friday May 19, @03:55PM

    by lonehighway (956) on Friday May 19, @03:55PM (#512228)

    Four words for this, William Gibson, Virtual Light.

  • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Friday May 19, @04:38PM

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday May 19, @04:38PM (#512244)

    n/t

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