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Recognizing text in images, patent by Google

GoogleTime for patents. After Microsoft with the “Wish list”, now it’s time for Google to have published its patent, “Recognizing text in images”. The patent was filed by Google with the World Intellectual Property Organization in June 2007 and published on Thursday.

The abstract of the patent describes it as “Methods, systems, and apparatus including computer program products for using extracted image text are provided. In one implementation, a computer-implemented method is provided. The method includes receiving an input of one or more image search terms and identifying keywords from the received one or more image search terms. The method also includes searching a collection of keywords including keywords extracted from image text, retrieving an image associated with extracted image text corresponding to one or more of the image search terms, and presenting the image.

The first application of the patent is considered to be Google Maps Street View, as well as YouTube, with keyword searches for text captured on video. Other possible applications include Video Sitemaps and Google Video Search.

TechCruch states that “if Google has found a way to index text in static images and video this is a great leap forward in the progression of search technology. This will make every book in the Google Books database really searchable, with the next step being YouTube, Flickr (or Picasa Web) and more. The search capabilities of the future just became seriously advanced.”

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