The news this past weekend is that a patent filed by Google in June has surfaced where the search engine giant intends to use more sophisticated search techniques to discern text within images. InformationWeek talks about the patent, known as "Recognizing Text in Images."
"Digital images can include a wide variety of content," the patent application explains. "For example, digital images can illustrate landscapes, people, urban scenes, and other objects. Digital images often include text. Digital images can be captured, for example, using cameras or digital video recorders. Image text (i.e., text in an image) typically includes text of varying size, orientation, and typeface. Text in a digital image derived, for example, from an urban scene (e.g., a city street scene) often provides information about the displayed scene or location. A typical street scene includes, for example, text as part of street signs, building names, address numbers, and window signs."
Bill notes that some concerns from the past may actually be a reality in the future:
One of the most fun blog posts of last year was a spoof titled Google Interiors - the day my house became searchable. The satire seems to have come a little closer to reality, with the publication of these three patent filings.
Forum reaction is mixed. What happens with CAPTCHAS?
Let's hope the spammers don't get hold of this or Captcha is dead.
But what else is the plan? Local search domination, quite possibly:
This, in my opinion, would help Google dominate local search if it comes to fruition. The streets software would likely be integrated with webpages about the shop/location you're looking at. We already know that anything Google commands a ton of backlinks, Google could conceivably become #1 for all local searches. Google already places advertisers links/maps above the real serp results for local.
Let's hope that the Google patent and its ultimate technology strives for accuracy.
Someone could have like "poPn" on their site and google might read "porn" and put you in wrong category.
These are definitely valid concerns.