Metal detectorists use Google Earth to find buried treasure

Ooh—I’ll have to show this story to my coin- and detector-loving 9yo son Henry.

Although Peter has been doing this for decades, his success rate of uncovering historic finds has grown since the launch of Google Earth, which helps him research farmlands to search and saves him from relying on outdated aerial photography. In December 2014, Peter noticed a square mark in a field with Google Earth. It was in this area where the Weekend Wanderers discovered the £1.5 million cache of Saxon coins. The coins are now on display in the Buckinghamshire County Museum, by order of the queen’s decree.

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[YouTube]

AI: Object detection & tracking comes to ML Kit

In addition to moving augmented images (see previous), my team’s tracking tech enables object detection & tracking on iOS & Android:

The Object Detection and Tracking API identifies the prominent object in an image and then tracks it in real time. Developers can use this API to create a real-time visual search experience through integration with a product search backend such as Cloud Product Search.

I hope you’ll build some rad stuff with it (e.g. the new Adidas app)!

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Flaming Lips + Google AI + … fruit?

What happens when you use machine learning & the capacitive-sensing properties of fruit to make music? The Flaming Lips teamed up with Google to find out:

During their performance that night, Steven Drozd from The Flaming Lips, who usually plays a variety of instruments, played a “magical bowl of fruit” for the first time. He tapped each fruit in the bowl, which then played different musical tones, “singing” the fruit’s own name. With help from Magenta, the band broke into a brand-new song, “Strawberry Orange.”

The Flaming Lips also got help from the audience: At one point, they tossed giant, blow-up “fruits” into the crowd, and each fruit was also set up as a sensor, so any audience member who got their hands on one played music, too. The end result was a cacophonous, joyous moment when a crowd truly contributed to the band’s sound.

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 [YouTube]