If you’ve ever uploaded a picture to Facebook, used a photo-editing software, or taken a picture with your smartphone, you probably noticed that little boxes immediately focused on multiple faces in the image and wondered how it could have detected the faces.
Image recognition began simply as a facial recognition program and gained popularity in the early 2000’s mainly in the security industry, as local governments attempted to detect criminal faces through public cameras (which didn’t stop the crime, as you might imagine). The facial technology works by analyzing each human face and their distinguishable facial features, called nodal marks. Each human face has about 80 nodal marks that separate them from everyone else, such as distance between eyes and the length of their jawbone. The nodal points are measured to create a numerical code, called a faceprint, which then delves into the mass database to find match.
While you may think image recognition is an invasion of privacy, what began as a failed ploy by local governments has developed into an efficient way to help with your daily needs. Image recognition software developers have made it possible for cameras to detect basically anything. Mobile app developers have created native applications that allow mobile users to scan objects such as pictures, landmarks, text from printed sources, and even logos, which will then redirect you to a search engine or a company site.
Companies are beginning to take advantage of this technology, as mobile users can now quickly snap a picture of their product or brand logo to take them to their mobile site. They are presented the opportunity to both advertise their product and take them directly to their mobile website. Because of this, it is important for companies to make sure their mobile site is up-to-date, because mobile is the future. Mobile guests now have the capability to snap a picture in an app to complete their web search for them, opposed to taking time typing in their search. It’s essential to keep the mobile user maximally intrigued in the mobile site by providing exactly what they want when they snap a picture of the product or logo, with all the extras that will have them coming back for more.
Internet powerhouse Google has recognized the benefits of image recognition technology, as they have created Google Goggles, an interior application for mobile devices that allows users to take pictures of virtually anything to take them directly to a Google search. Google has realized that technology is the future and is rapidly evolving, so they are advancing with the industry as mobile devices continue to catch up. While Google will take you to a broad search of what you desire, custom apps will take you one step further and bring you directly to your destination, making the process even easier. Once again, the question boils down to this: why waste your time typing in a search when you can snap a picture of your search in a matter of seconds?