Back in 2002, when the earliest versions of Shazam came out, it seemed like something of a digital miracle. Not only could the app access a huge database of music to refer to, but it was uncanny in its ability to recognise a scrap of music and tell you what it was and who it was by. As the app developer made progress with the software, so even poor recordings and cover versions of songs would be recognised. Of course, few people have not heard of Shazam these days or have any doubts over its reliability. However, the story does not end there.
Today, the so-called Shazamification of the automated identification market has truly taken hold. You can use your smart device to identify all sorts of things today, not just music. Okay, so although a Shazam for telling the difference between certain casino games may not yet exist – or be at the top of the developers’ list of priorities, for that matter – there are plenty of the other examples of this sort of technology in use. What are some of the best ones?
The Shazam for Typefaces
It is not just graphic designers who spot the perfect font they want to use when they are out and about. Of course, taking a photo of a typeface and comparing it to your library when you get home is one way to make an identification. Thankfully, you can always rely on WhatTheFont instead which automates the entire process. Simply point your smartphone’s camera at any font you see in front of you and run the app. Within seconds, the machine learning of the app will provide you with the name of the font in question even if your image is not perfectly clear.
The Shazam for Frogs
Developed in Australia where a surprising number of people want to identify frog calls, FrogID is the app which really does deliver on its name. Although many people think that frogs just ribbit, they actually make a huge number of different noises which means they can be identified by their sound alone. Although the app is used by amateurs to help them enjoy their local wildlife, the software has a serious side and is assisting scientists in their work of tracking various frog species in the southern hemisphere.
The Shazam for Cars
Have you ever seen a car on the road and thought that the model in question could be your next vehicle? If so, then not spotting the name on the rear or even the maker’s badge could put you at a disadvantage. However, all is not lost because Blippar does the job of telling which car you are a looking at for you. Primarily designed for the North American market, Blippar is an app with an ever-expanding database of vehicles made in Europe and elsewhere.
The Shazam for Food
Pic2Recipe is another identification app that works from the visual data it is able to collect. The system functions by looking at what your plate of food looks like algorithmically and will only get better as time goes on and it is exposed to more and more variants of the same dish. If you have ever ordered something in a restaurant and think might be being fobbed off with something else – but aren’t sure – then this up-and-coming app is likely to be the best thing you could have downloaded.
The Shazam for Clothes
If you like shopping for clothes online, then you are certainly blessed with more than enough fashion sites to choose from. That said, if you happen to be looking for that one particular garment that would work well with your existing wardrobe, but cannot find it, then online clothes shopping can become a chore. What’s even more frustrating is when you have seen someone out and about in the very thing you are after. To combat this particular frustration, one fashion brand in the UK, Asos, has developed a Shazam-like identification app. Simply point your smart device at the item of clothing you want and it will identify it for your from its store. Even if it cannot find the exact thing, the app will suggest its closest alternative to try and keep even the most dedicated of fashionistas happy.