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View Full Version : Microsoft Research's Photo2Search: Finally a Good Use for a Phone Camera?

Jason Dunn
04-17-2006, 11:30 PM
<div class='os_post_top_link'><a href='http://research.microsoft.com/displayArticle.aspx?id=1434' target='_blank'>http://research.microsoft.com/displayArticle.aspx?id=1434</a><br /><br /></div><i>"There’s a new restaurant in town. Wonder what people are saying about it? Take a photo...Photo2Search works like this: Seeking information about something seen, a user takes a photo of the object and sends the photo, via e-mail or Multimedia Messaging Service, to a Web-based server, which searches an image database for matches. The server then delivers database information—whether it be a Web page featuring the object in the photo or information associated with the object—to the user, who can act on the information received: read a menu, enter a gallery, book a hotel room, make a purchase. Sounds simple, right? The devil, as always, is in the details."</i><br /><br />This is one of those examples of research that will likely take years to come into the mainstream, but holds fascinating possibilities for gaining useful data from the combination of a portable device and a camera. When I'm out shopping for something I'm often wishing I had more data about a product. Imagine something such as this linking into a product review service so you could easily read a review about the product you're about to buy. That would be excellent!

Mike Temporale
04-18-2006, 01:39 AM
I would love to be able to catalog items by taking a picture of the UPC code. The phone could then do a look up and download all the data about it. It would be a easy way to build wish-lists or catalog your DVD collection. :mrgreen:

Something like this would actually make the camera on my phone worth while. ;)

Jerry Raia
04-18-2006, 01:45 AM
Or even just a bar code reader on the phone. Then a bad camera/picture wouldn't be a factor.

04-18-2006, 12:42 PM
Software like barcode and business card readers are already available on other mobile platforms, so I'm sure it's only a matter of time before they show up on Windows Mobile too.

I'm not sure about this image search idea though. I've seen similar ideas and in practice they're very unreliable. What's wrong with just reading the label and entering the name of the product yourself? :)