If you follow HBO’s Silicon Valley show, you will know about the dramatized app SeeFood, which was like “Shazam for food”. Well it seems the app is not only a figment of pop culture imagination anymore and has found its real life analogy. Pinterest has announced a new recipe-finding feature that makes use of computer vision to tell you about a dish when you point your smartphone camera at it. The company is billing the feature as a way to perform real-time “dish recognition,” which allows Pinterest to then recommend users new recipes to try using similar ingredients. And wouldn’t be hard to agree that this sounds way too similar to SeeFood app featured in the show.
After the reaction of social media on SeeFood app, HBO even commissioned an app maker to develop a real version of this service and put it out on iOS and Android.
However Pinterest spokesperson has declined any intended similarity and has marked the feature release similarity with Seefood as “separate and completely coincidental,”
Lately there is a big artificial intelligence push in the tech industry to apply machine learning techniques to everyday life. By training neural networks on huge mounds of data and translating that into a real-time algorithm, tech giants like Google, Facebook, and Microsoft are now developing software products that can digest and understand the world, from text to photos to even videos.
Recently Google also announced its Lens tool, which will let you point your camera at real-world objects and get information cross-sourced from its search engine and even your backlog of photos and videos in the Google Photos app. Facebook also announced its plans to transform the smartphone camera into the first ubiquitous augmented reality platform. Snap though was the first company to position itself as the ‘camera company’ and its visionary product CEO Evan Spiegel was one of the early thought leaders to make camera the central point of platform for users.
All the big boys of tech seem to be pushing a lot for Augmented Reality and Computer Vision integration in their products. All of this comes while Magic Leap is preparing for its public launch and Microsoft Hololens is making its way into Enterprise applications. A new platform for computing is brewing up, which will finally allow it to break the constraints of limited flat screens and make it one layer of abstraction closer to us.