Google Is Working On Making Your Actual Life SearchableBy: Chris Crum - February 25, 2013
Last summer, we took a look at how Google plans to see through your eyes (literally). This has a lot to do with Google Glass, but that’s not the only piece of the puzzle.
Do you like the direction Google is going in? Is it getting too up close and personal, or is it taking the necessary steps to make users’ lives easier? Share your thoughts in the comments.
Google Glass will not only be pushing content in front of your eyeballs. It will be capturing the very things you see. This became clear when Google co-founder Sergey Brin shared a feature he was testing, which automatically takes pictures every ten seconds “without any distraction or disruption”.
“Afterwards, I checked Instant Upload to see how the images had turned out and this one really caught my eye – I love the composition of the landscape mixed with sunlight and the beauty of the sky,” Brin said, sharing the below image. “I never would have captured this moment without Glass.”
So, it’s not too heard to imagine Google doing a lot more with this kind of technology, including video. A patent Google has been granted, may help the company take it significantly further than that though. Patent analyst Bill Slawski points to the patent, granted to Google last week, called “Method and Apparatus for Enabling a Searchable History of Real-World User Experiences”.
Here’s the abstract:
A method and apparatus for enabling a searchable history of real-world user experiences is described. The method may include capturing media data by a mobile computing device. The method may also include transmitting the captured media data to a server computer system, the server computer system to perform one or more recognition processes on the captured media data and add the captured media data to a history of real-world experiences of a user of the mobile computing device when the one or more recognition processes find a match. The method may also include transmitting a query of the user to the server computer system to initiate a search of the history or real-world experiences, and receiving results relevant to the query that include data indicative of the media data in the history of real-world experiences.
The patent makes specific mention of glasses.
“Imagine recording your life, so that you can search through it, and play it back later,” writes Slawski. “Things that you record through audio and video might be sent to your own personal search database where pictures you take might be processed. Images of faces may go through facial recognition software. Landmarks and objects might also be recognized as well.”
He suggests you’ll be able to write or speak queries like “What was the playlist of songs at the party last night?” or “Who were the people at the business lunch this afternoon?” or “What were the paintings I saw when I was on vacation in Paris?”
I would imagine that the possibilities are endless, as Google gets better at both recognizing faces and objects and at natural language.
It seems the functionality described in the patent could apply to recording, which users could switch on and off, as well as to recording that could begin automatically upon certain events, such as if you entered a certain location. Sounds like some Google Now-like features would be incorporated.
Google Now, by the way, is in its very early stages, and has already seen its fourth update, now adding more movie features, and the ability to bring up real estate info (based on location) as you enter properties on the market.
Slawski also points out that the patent indicates Google could take advantage of the technology for location-based recording (like where it’s set to turn on at specific locations, “such as upon entering Google’s headquarters”), and allows for an “always on” system, where “a wearer doesn’t have to initiate the capture of media”.
You can read the full patent here.
It’s important to note that just because Google has a patent for something, that does not mean we will see any or all of the features described. However, in this case, considering the direction Google is already taking with its products, much of this seems very likely.
And just wait until Google finds a way to make Google Glass more fashionable.
Do you want to see Google make your actual life more searchable or is this starting to go too far? Let us know what you think.