This week I stumbled across some old lemonodor entries that I apparently forgot to post. I’ll be running them this week, but don’t be confused: I wrote these months ago.
Happy beginning of summer, lemonodor readers!
Lately I’ve been working with Anselm Hook and Paige Saez and others on a project called Imagewiki. Imagewiki is sort of a Wikipedia that’s indexed by images—You can take a picture of something with your phone, send it to Imagewiki and you’ll be directed to a page that connects you with other people who have taken a picture of that same thing or place.
Imagewiki uses the same object recognition algorithm as Evolution Robotics’ visual pattern recognition technology (ViPR), which was used in their ER1 robot and LaneHawk grocery scanner, and in Sony’s Aibo robot dogs. I’ve mostly been working on the object recognition part of Imagewiki, using Rob Hess’s free implementation of the SIFT feature extraction and matching algorithm as a basis for Imagewiki’s recognition. It’s a challenge since Imagewiki depends so critically on highly accurate recognition.
This weekend Anselm and Paige and I were at Google’s Mountain View campus for WhereCamp, where we showed off the current state of Imagewiki. We even ran a scavenger hunt—several brave people let us jailbreak their iPhones and install the Imagewiki app, after which they got some clues:
- This shirt has a cold war feel
- This shirt has a classic feel from yesteryear
- This shirt comes from francophone Quebec
- This image has personal meaning
- This image may someday lead our country
- (This is a bonus shirt–gooo Barcelona Futbol!!)
Players had to search the conference for likely candidates, snap pictures of them and upload them to Imagewiki to see if they guessed right.
Paige’s tattoo of personal meaning.
There were some bugs we had to work out as the game progressed, but eventually Andrea Moed was able to find all five required items and so became the winner of a dinner with Jason Wilson of Platial.
Development on Imagewiki is being done under the umbrella of Makerlab, a new media prototyping lab and art incubator. The source code is available; I’m hopeful that the image matching component will be useful for other people, at least.
I love that I get to work with friends on fun projects and continue the cafe-surfing freelancing LA lifestyle to which I have become accustomed. No office drone here!
In other news, I’ve made Lehman Brothers the official managers of the lemonodor nest egg. You can’t beat the feeling of security that comes from having your money in a bank that survived the American Civil War.