From Indoor Navigation to Photo Recognition; See How Google is Spearheading AI

May 18, 2017, By Sanjeev Ramachandran

Google’s love for image recognition using AI just jumped onto a different class with the I/O conference. Not that the Mountain View Company wasn’t able to pick out objects from an image until now, but its service to the user-end just got lit up.

Unleashed by Google at the I/O conference was a host of new features, most of which was paired with its Photo app, that demonstrates how well it can scan objects inside you and even objects around you. Speak of the Photos app and it now gets better with a set of features dedicated for instant sharing as well as for improving your image collection.

Suggested Sharing is the new feature which Google has highlighted at the event. With the new feature, Google will instantly suggest you contacts to which an image can be shared by recognizing those inside the uploaded images.

This is quite similar to the tag-suggestions provided by Facebook, but Google just makes the job easier for you by letting you set up certain parameters for automatically identifying and sharing these features.

One such feature is the new Shared Libraries with which users can create a library for mutual sharing of images related to particular persons. Like a couple could share pictures of their kids and omits the ones like the husband in a crowd as demonstrated by Google. There’s also a new paid service, called Photo Book, which will automatically select highest quality images from the selected ones to add to your book.

The event also demonstrated its capabilities outside the bounds of Photos app. That includes an updated version of Google Googles, which will now be known as Google Lens. The feature will be made available inside Google Assistant to help users obtain contextual information about objects by simply snapping them using their camera.

Alongside, Google has also revealed its new Visual Positioning System, which is what the company calls the new indoor navigator. All it requires is the in-phone camera to hunt down distinct features in the room and get them tallied along with previously obtained data points in its database. This would help the feature reveal the device’s location from the object to a few centimeters.

The demo by Google revealed its application by navigating a user through a crowded hardware store to precise the location of a desired screwdriver. Google is planning more with its Visual Positioning System as it envisions to facilitate the navigation for those with impaired vision. We wouldn’t be surprised to see the feature being expanded to get you through other crowded areas either.

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