Google's New Mobile Vision API Includes Face and Barcode APIs

As part of Google Play services 7.8, Google has released a new Mobile Vision API. The Mobile Vision API consists of two component APIs: the Face API and the Barcode API. The Face API allows developers to identify human faces in images and videos. The Barcode API allows developers to identify bar codes in real time, on device.

Not only can the Face API identify faces across various media sources, the API provides details regarding the identified face. For instance, the API determines if eyes are open or shut, and whether the face is smiling or not. The API uses face detection, face tracking, landmarks and classifications to drive the API functionality. Face tracking utilizes face detection for video clips (i.e., a face that shows up in a video for any amount of time can be tracked). A landmark constitutes a point of interest on a face (e.g., left eye, right eye, nose). Classification determines whether a specific characteristics exists on a face (e.g., eyes open, eyes close, smiling). Further, the API determines facial orientation (i.e., the angles at which a face tilts).

The Barcode API detects bar codes on device, in real time, in any orientation. Further, the API detects multiple bar codes at the same time. The API detects both 1-D and 2-D bar codes in a number of formats. One-dimensional bar codes recognized are EAN-13, EAN-8, UPC-A, UPC-E, Code-39, Code-93, Code-128, ITF and Codabar. Two-dimensional bar codes are QR Code, Data Matrix and PDF-417. The API automatically examines QR codes and PDF-417 values in a number of formats (i.e., URL, contact information, calendar event, email, phone, SMS, ISBN, Wi-Fi, geolocation and driver's license/ID card).

Both APIs provide the opportunity for new functionality across many apps and services. The Face API enhances abilities for photo and video editing, hands-free controls or app reaction to certain expressions. The Barcode API consolidates functionality traditionally addressed by disparate apps or devices. With real-time support for a number of formats and the ability to scan multiple bar codes at once, the Barcode API could have disruptive effect on a legacy industry. Visit the blog post announcement to learn more.

Eric Carter Eric the founder of Dartsand and Corporate Counsel for a specialty technology distributor. He is a frequent contributor to technology media outlets and also serves as primary legal counsel for multiple startups in the Real Estate, Virtual Assistant, and Software Development Industries. Follow me on Google+