Shazam planning to expand its service to ‘object recognition’

shazam planning to expand its service object recognition
As if Shazam wasn’t awesome enough, now the app that IDs music tracks, TV shows and ads is talking about moving beyond audio and into object recognition.

In a chat with news outlet Reuters at Mobile World Congress this week, Shazam boss Rich Riley said his team is working on a new feature to allow users to ID everyday objects via a smartphone’s camera.

This means you could Shazam a packet of food in a grocery store to bring up more detailed nutritional information, or do the same for a DVD case so you can download the movie’s soundtrack, Riley said.

‘Expand the universe’

“We want to expand the universe of what you can Shazam,” the CEO told Reuters. “The famous blue button that our users love will remain on the home screen but will be able to do much more.”

Riley declined offer up any details on precisely how the proposed Shazam feature would work. It’d be great to think the team is looking at developing actual image-recognition technology rather than incorporating something like a simple barcode reader into the app, but hopefully all will be revealed soon.

Those familiar with Amazon’s Fire phone will know all about a similar-sounding feature called Firefly that allows users to scan everyday objects and then, if you wish, purchase them through Amazon’s online store. And like Shazam, Firefly can also ID music tracks. However, Firefly is only available on the Fire Phone, whereas Shazam can be loaded onto most iOS and Android devices, giving it far greater reach.

Riley didn’t say when its object-recognition feature might become available, but said its development would be funded with some of the $30 million it picked up from a number of investors in January, which followed a $40 million cash injection from Mexican telecoms billionaire Carlos Slim two years ago.

London-based Shazam launched in 2002, though the service really took off in 2007 with the arrival of the iPhone. The popular app now has more than 500 million users around the world, with its music ID feature leading to more than half a million track sales a day.

Emerging Tech

Awesome Tech You Can’t Buy Yet: Robo sidekicks, AC for your bed, and more

Check out our roundup of the best new crowdfunding projects and product announcements that hit the Web this week. You can't buy this stuff yet, but it sure is fun to gawk!
Home Theater

Cutting the cord? Let us help you find the best service for live TV streaming

There's a long list of live TV streaming services available to help you cut the cord and replace your traditional TV subscription. Each is different in important ways, and this guide will help you find the best one for you.
Smart Home

Alexa goes to college as Saint Louis University puts an Echo in every dorm room

Smart speakers have been deployed on campus before but Saint Louis University is going all in by providing an Amazon Echo Dot to every on-campus living space on campus, totaling over 2,300 devices.
Product Review

The Marc Jacobs Riley Touchscreen Smartwatch has an understated look, but makes an impression

The Marc Jacobs Riley is Marc Jacobs’ first fully-touchscreen smartwatch for men and women. It runs Wear OS, has a large 1.19-inch display, and a sleek design. At almost $300, we take a closer look to see if it’s worth it.
Mobile

What do golden retrievers and Samsung Note 9 owners have in common? Loyalty

Samsung has introduced the Galaxy Note 9, but rumors have spread it may be the last of its kind due to its similarity with the Galaxy S9 Plus. We spoke to Samsung about the productivity device's future.
Mobile

Master your Sony Xperia XZ2 with these handy tips and tricks

While new Samsung and Apple phones get the lion's share of attention, Sony released three new flagships, the Xperia XZ2, XZ2 Premium, and the XZ2 Compact. Here are some of our favorite Sony Xperia XZ2 tips and tricks.
Mobile

Verizon Unlimited users can now sign up for 6 free months of Apple Music

Verizon's latest offer stands to benefit both Apple Music and its own subscribers, as the one-of-a-kind deal is likely to be compelling to both existing and potential new subscribers. .
Mobile

Need a do-over? Here's how to factory reset an iPhone, from X on down

Resetting an iPhone can alleviate all sorts of software woes, and wipe away personal data should you sell your device or give it to someone else. Here's how to factory reset an iPhone from within iOS or iTunes.
Mobile

Here's how to use iTunes to make a customized ringtone for any iPhone

No one likes to pay for ringtones -- or anything else, for that matter. So hang on to your precious money and check out our comprehensive guide on how to make ringtones for an iPhone using iTunes.
Mobile

Apple releases sixth public beta of iOS 12, sans Group FaceTime

At this year's Worldwide Developer Conference, Apple unveiled its latest operating system, iOS 12. From app updates to group FaceTime, ARKit 2.0, and more, here are all the new features in iOS 12.
Photography

Capture life in every direction with the best 360 cameras

While 360 cameras are still a new technology, that doesn't mean there's not a few that are worth a look. Whether you want to shoot from the middle or just need a simple, affordable option, here are the best 360 cameras on the market.
Emerging Tech

Buying on a budget? Here’s all the best tech you can snag for $25 or less

We live in a world where you can get a cheeseburger for $1, a functioning computer for $5, and thousands of HD movies for $10 -- so it stands to reason that you should be able to pick up some pretty sweet gear for $25.
Android Army

Confused by this year's Motorola lineup? Here's the lowdown on what's to come

Struggling to figure out your E5 from your G6? No, it's not a weird chromatic scale -- it's just Motorola's new roster. But how do you know which is right for you? Find out with our guide to Motorola's 2018 phone lineup.
Mobile

The Moto Z3 is now available but only for Verizon customers

Buckle up your Moto Mods and get ready -- the Motorola Moto Z3 is finally almost here. Boasting flagship specs and a classic Motorola design, the phone is set to be a serious contender for anyone looking for a flagship-like phone in 2018.