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Google Cloud Vision API: Taking Image Analysis To Next Level


Google released a limited preview of Google Cloud Vision API in December 2015, using which developers can now develop powerful applications that will be able to see as well as understand the images. Now we can submit the image to Cloud Vision API that will understand the content from images. It will include detection of regular objects (car, dogs, cats, etc.) to reading text within the image or even recognizing the product logo.

Google released its Beta of Google Cloud Vision API on February 18, 2016 that can be accessed by developers with store images’ location in Google Cloud Storage, with present support of image embedding as part of the API request.

This service is certainly going to help developers to build image identification and classification features into any of the applications. The Cloud Vision API has encapsulated models, which can be developed through advances in machine learning, as an easy-to-use REST API. This API rapidly classifies image into numerous categories (such as Lion, ship, Great wall of China, etc.) recognizes printed words in different languages and identifies faces with related emotions. It also allows to build moderately offensive content and develop metadata on image catalogue.

Following are Google Cloud Vision API features that can be applied in any composition on an image:

Optical character Recognition – retrieves text from image.

Entity/Label Detection – recognises prominent entity from an image among broad set of categories of entities.

Facial Detection – detects faces in the image with associated features like nose, eye and mouth positions and over 8 emotional attributes like joy and sorrow.

Logo Detection – identifies product logos in an image.

Safe Search Detection – detects in appropriate content powered by Google SafeSearch.

Landmark Detection – identifies popular structures with associated latitude and longitude of structures.


The Beta release is available for all developers along with access to API with location of images stored in Google Cloud Storage. Google has also come up with pricing. The amount you need to pay will depend on how you are using it. For instance, label detection feature will cost little cost of 2$ for 1000 images; for Optical Character Recognition it will cost 0.60 for 1000 images.

In this beta period, Google is going to restrict users till a quota of 20 million images per month.

Cloud Vision API is certainly going to empower robots, drones and apps with astounding understanding efficiency and image recognition functionality, thus revolutionising the way apps and machines are going to understand and interpret images.

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