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Sunday, October 29, 2017

Google Goggles as early Augmented Reality

We took an early look at using a camera interface to 'search',  say how much inventory there was on a shelf, or if an ad could be seen in a magazine, or order a product from an ad without any code.  Gooogle Googles was considered.  But there didn't seem to be much interest in taking Google Goggles beyond simple consumer applications, and it soon vanished. 

This article in Wired on what it did, and where it ended up.  And how Google Lens is looking very similar.  We see, thus we can sense.  And can this sensing be readily passed on to link to data or knowledge bases?

How Google Goggles won, then Lost the Camera First Future.   By David Pierce in Wired.

 Google's first public foray into augmented reality began with an argument in a bar. It was 2008, and David Petrou, a longtime Google engineer, was sitting in a Brooklyn watering hole explaining to his friends how someday, you'd be able to do a search just by pointing your phone's camera at something. He likened it to pointing and asking, what's that? It would be faster and richer than typing, and could help you ask questions you'd never be able to put into words. Based on what he'd seen within Google, Petrou thought the tech could already work. His friends, of course, said he was crazy. They thought computer vision was science fiction.

Petrou left the bar early and angry, went home, and started coding. Despite having no background in computer vision, and a day job working on Google's Bigtable database system, Petrou taught himself Java so he could write an Android app and immersed himself in Google's latest work on computer vision. After a month of feverish hacking, Petrou had the very first prototype of what would soon become Google Goggles.  .... " 

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