Tag Archives: mobile apps

Goggley Eyes

I was trying to explain to someone new to search engines (yes these people do, apparently, still exist) how the various tools across Google work; predictive search, social, geo-targeted and so on.

This led into chats about Google Goggles at which point, his eyes glazed over and he seemed to stare through me. This reaction led me to believe it would be a great topic for my fellow geek readers.

Google Goggles is a downloadable image recognition application meaning through us, Google has eyes in every orifice and intimate corner we search for and from.

Snap happy researchers using the app send a collectively huge bank of images to a series of backend engines coordinated by Google’s Superroot Server which, identifies the source as either; text, geographic location, QR codes, corporate identities, products… you get the idea. All similar images are tagged and confidence scored* for future use.

As the database of images builds so will the use and accuracy of the app, making it easier to search for things that are difficult to summarise in text through traditional keyword search (wow, keyword search has been around so long now it feels normal to call it traditional- in web life anyway).

So the next time you’re out and about and you take a picture of a restaurant you want to dine in, you’ll know what happens behind the scenes to serve you the results that appear.

Simple really, thanks Google!

*Confidence scoring considers various weighted validation parameters such as quality and source, to determine the accuracy of the data held in the image.

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The next step in social networking…?

Like all social networks, Foursquare is about interacting with friends, this certainly ticks all the boxes but adds an extra element too.

In the first instance you can invite your friends to join you through the app or use existing networks such as facebook and twitter, you can also find friends in your local area. In addition you can let your friends know where you are and read/ leave recommendations on the activity you’re partaking in.

It doesn’t stop there though, what’s different about Foursquare is that you get a gaming element added in too. As you leave reviews and recommendations you gain points, and as the points add up you work your way to a Mayor badge, which although doesn’t give you any particular power or ability to change local laws, does mean you receive offers and vouchers for your loyalty.

The technology supporting it seems pretty solid but we’re still waiting it for to catch on in the UK at the moment but I get the feeling there’s still a ‘big brother’ nervousness around location based apps (remember www.pleaserobme.com ?) scary or genius?

To learn more visit www.foursquare.com

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