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Summary:

Blippar has migrated its object image recognition technology from the smartphone to Google Glass, showing off the concept at Mobile World Congress. The app could be used for advertising, education and more. It can also recognize faces but that feature will be disabled.

Blippar Glass 2

Blippar has already taught phones how to identify objects and now it’s doing the same for Google Glass. The company demonstrated what it calls the world’s first image recognition technology for Glass at Mobile World Congress on Wednesday. The Blippar app for Google’s wearable computer can identify images, products and people the company said.

Blippar Glass 2

The app is really a proof-of-concept for now; you can’t get it through Glassware, which is basically a Google app store for Glass apps. But it’s an interesting concept, particularly from an advertising standpoint. Companies could create campaigns around their product images as Google Glass wearers see them.

There are also practical consumer benefits I can think of too. Perhaps you want to learn a new language, for example. Pointing Glass at an object or image could identify and speak aloud what the object in a foreign language. This could also be useful in general education as well: Think of a “find this object” game for kids.

The facial recognition functionality could pose a challenge for Blippar however, as Google’s current Glass developer policies don’t allow for facial recognition in Glassware apps:

Don’t use the camera or microphone to cross-reference and immediately present personal information identifying anyone other than the user, including use cases such as facial recognition and voice print. Glassware that do this will not be approved at this time.

Blippar glass

Blippar isn’t actually available through Glassware though. It would have to be installed from outside of Google’s store, much like one would sideload Android apps on a phone or tablet to bypass the Google Play Store.

I reached out to the company and it knows that facial recognition apps aren’t allowed on Glass. As such, this is more to show off the technology’s potential and Blippar says it will remove any facial recognition features before officially launching on Glass.

  1. “World’s first”? Blippar looks cool but definitely isn’t the world’s first. AlchemyAPI released a Google Glass image recognition app around 6 months ago — it was featured in MIT Technology Review:

    http://www.technologyreview.com/view/519726/a-google-glass-app-knows-what-youre-looking-at/

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