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Google Launches Search By Image 109

Posted by CmdrTaco
from the i-see-what-you-did-there dept.
kai_hiwatari writes "At the Inside Search event being held at San Francisco, Google has announced a new addition to its search features — Search by Image. The Search by Image feature is something like Google's image search application for mobile devices — Google Goggles — but for the desktop."
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Google Launches Search By Image

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  • by PPH (736903) on Tuesday June 14, 2011 @04:38PM (#36441358)

    ... a photo of my junk. All Google found were links related to nanotechnology.

    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      Actually, this would be an interesting way to find long-lost porn. Think about it. You have an old jpg from 10 years ago. Upload it to Google and you find others from the same set, who took the photo, etc.
      • by tehcyder (746570)

        Actually, this would be an interesting way to find long-lost porn. Think about it. You have an old jpg from 10 years ago. Upload it to Google and you find others from the same set, who took the photo, etc.

        I'm sure you're the first person to think of this. Well done!

    • by gblackwo (1087063)
      Mine brought up topography of Iraq.
  • by Anonymous Coward

    That video was poor. It was full of animated graphics and few actual results. The actual results didn't even find many matches.

    Also, how is Google's version better than TinEye's? Nothing they've said about Google's search goes further than TinEye's. I've used TinEye and it's worked well enough; much better than what was shown in that marketing video.

    Google, I'm not impressed. You should do better.

  • They should call this technology point-n-grunt. Now I don't even have to worry about articulating my wants into words.

    In all honestly thats pretty cool though, I've been expecting this for a while. Congrats on the cool new technology Google. *holds up picture of a a party hat and confetti*

  • Huh, I wonder if TinEye will disappear under the might of Google? It's been pretty useful, especially the browser plug-ins!
    • by vegiVamp (518171)

      I would rather they got integrated. Tin Eye does a wonderful job, but they don't have the sheer capacity Google has for absorbing the entirety of the internets every ten seconds.

  • This isn't search based on facial recognition, but on product recognition, or so it seems from what I've read so far. It will be interesting when you can point Google at a picture of someone and have it search for other pictures of the same person. Then check to see if you get different results with safe-search off. (I'm surprised that there isn't a dangerous search mode that only shows results that would be blocked by safe search.)

    • (I'm surprised that there isn't a dangerous search mode that only shows results that would be blocked by safe search.)

      You aren't the only one. Maybe a "pick your range" option. Some sort of sliding scale, you set high and low limits?

    • by icebike (68054)

      This isn't search based on facial recognition, but on product recognition, or so it seems from what I've read so far. It will be interesting when you can point Google at a picture of someone and have it search for other pictures of the same person. Then check to see if you get different results with safe-search off.

      That may be the case this week, but with facial recognition already built into Picasa (and it works fairly well) and with other companies (facebook) threatening to unleash it on the web, we can only guess how long Google can hold off a full fledged facial reco system, at least for public figures, and probably with an opt-in, but eventually for any face at all.

      The tools are there already. The privacy issue and their often mocked clinging to the "don't be evil" motto is probably the only thing preventing goo

  • the most common use of this will be to find more pictures of that one girl you can't remember the name of from that pic you found online..... How long before someone uses this to identify, track, and hunt down a photobomber?
    • by icebike (68054)

      No, supposedly it will not be facial recognition, at least not yet.

      It will probably be swamped by porn.

  • by Dachannien (617929) on Tuesday June 14, 2011 @04:48PM (#36441542)

    Great article. Not only does it get "TinEye" wrong (Tiny Eye? Really?) but it also fails to link to Google.

    It's supposed to be part of images.google.com [google.com], although it's not working for me currently (the camera icon doesn't show up in the search box). There's help on how to use this feature here [google.com].

    • Great article. Not only does it get "TinEye" wrong (Tiny Eye? Really?) but it also fails to link to Google.

      It's supposed to be part of images.google.com [google.com], although it's not working for me currently (the camera icon doesn't show up in the search box).

      Are you surprised that TFA is wrong? (The repeated reference to "Tiny Eye" didn't give you a hint?) It hasn't launched yet. It launches in a couple of days...

  • by HockeyPuck (141947) on Tuesday June 14, 2011 @04:52PM (#36441596)

    Do they keep the image and add it to their collection or do they toss it away?

  • by Slutticus (1237534) on Tuesday June 14, 2011 @04:57PM (#36441696)
    And suddenly the internets cried out in pain as the simultaneous upload of a billion boobie pics strained its' tubes to the core.
    • Then maybe they should have made it more like a big truck that you can dump stuff on. It might handle the load better.

  • Sometimes you have a picture that you want to know more about, and so far the only option was to take a picture of your screen with a smart phone. A desktop based image search should be much easier to use.

  • If being able to search using photos on your phone is already useful to a lot of people, being able to search from your home after you've stored your pictures on your computer just makes sense. I'm just eager to try it for myself since it hasn't seemed to have actually launched yet.
  • I can see this being really useful for finding creatives commons licensed images. If you find an image or diagram you'd really like to include in a document, but it's not openly licensed, you could look for other images like it, but use Google Image Search's recently-added license filter to find CC-licensed materials.
  • Is this being done by a hash of some kind, or by some form of image comparison? The first method would be efficient but will only produce exact copies. I'm not aware of any variation on the latter method that isn't incredibly system intensive with large numbers of images...

    • by AHuxley (892839)
      If you have a face, its local feature analysis or nodal points. 10 years ago you needed 12-22 nodal points to match a face. ~ tens of millions of faces looked at per min for a basic set up.
      So in todays terms, its simple, fast and can do the US population based on how much you can spend on hardware. Would the math would get stuck or scale in bad ways? - just hire good people and add hardware? The world of faces is yours :-)
      Other options might be based on what extra data an Adobe is asked to save.
    • I've just done a test with (1) a small section of a public image of sushi, with all metadata removed and (2) a photo I just took of some bananas on a white background.

      (1) correctly identified what it was, gave me websites using the full original image, full marks, 100%, v.g.

      (2) Showed me chopping boards, boxes, a violin... anything where the image had roughly the same colours in roughly the same portion of the image.

      So I conclude that it is both. The hash is extremely effective, as you might expect i

  • and it crashed with the message "Number of matches exceeds allocated memory."

  • At last, we can get an accurate goatse census.
  • I uploaded a photo of mine--not available on the net--and Google showed me six photos that are visually similar with differing subjects. I like it.

    My hope for the future is that a photo I take of some unusual connector will return info on what it fits. Similarly I would like to identify other objects through their photos when they lack other info such as model numbers.

  • See a person you'd like to get to know better? Snap a pic, run through the service, and find their details.

    Possibly more fun and profitable uses of matching random faces to names would be jury tampering, background checks for employees, finding Ex's of whomever you're dating, blackmailing married men leaving a strip club or adult book store, finding where the TSA agent who just groped you lives...

    • by tehcyder (746570)

      See a person you'd like to get to know better? Snap a pic, run through the service, and find their details.

      Possibly more fun and profitable uses of matching random faces to names would be jury tampering, background checks for employees, finding Ex's of whomever you're dating, blackmailing married men leaving a strip club or adult book store, finding where the TSA agent who just groped you lives...

      I'm glad I don't live in your mind, it must be depressing as hell.

  • Google will be sued for not matching all submitted images against copyrighted images to find IP thieves. Mark it down as a certainty.
  • This is one of those Google features that I scratch my head over. It sounds great but is almost completely useless. I tried several images both from the web and from pictures of famous locations that I had taken on vacation. I tried product photos, and place photos. I tried the search page and the Chrome extension. I got one page crash (drag-n-drop an image to search by), and no results that could be considered anything but awful. The results were so far off the mark as to be silly. I posted a chair and got

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