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Is This The First Step To Geordi La Forge’s Visor?

Is This The First Step To Geordi La Forge’s Visor?

We here at Subspace Communique are always excited when we hear about new technology that is inspired by, similar to, or even heading in the direction of Star Trek gadgets that made all of our favorite characters’ lives easier onscreen. Personally, we can’t wait for the day when transporters make plane travel no longer necessary, but until then we’ll be excited about this new bit of tech from Google that is teaching computers to see. Google “Goggles” is a piece of software that works with a cell phone’s camera to identify objects in photographs.

With Goggles, the user snaps a picture, which is transmitted across cellular networks to Google's servers. Google's computers then tell the phone what they recognized in the photo. This process can take only a second or two -- and sometimes even less.

"Our ambition is nothing less than being able to recognize any object on the planet," Neven said. "But today, computer vision is not in that state yet. There are many things that, unfortunately, we cannot properly recognize."

The biggest obstacles are in one category: Objects without a strong "visual texture," and with few distinct markings. These include many products that are hard to identify without colorful packaging, such as purses, shoes and cell phones.

…And some of the products mentioned in the article are already being marketed as utilities for the blind.

Does anyone else see the implication in this cool new computer ability?! If it’s possible for computers to accurately identify objects, the boundaries could be limitless. From objects they could move to teaching it special relationships then to teaching it terrain and on and on. Once it can discern all of these environmental details it could then “translate” that to a visually impaired person, and voila…”digital sight”. Ooooooo… (happy giggles)…can you imagine?!?! Sure they are in the beginning stages of the technology, but all inventions have to start somewhere. Let’s just hope that if it does end up becoming an aid to sight that they make it look cooler than a metallic banana clip.

Read the full article here.


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