Google loves to tinker with fancy technologies like AR (Augmented Reality) and AI-powered stuff, but sometimes it doesn’t quite work out.
A recently released Emoji Scavenger Hunt mini-game piqued my interest, promising to use your phone’s camera to create a fun AR experience.
The premise of the game is simple — match the emoji on the screen with a real-world equivalent.
For the most part, it works pretty well, successfully detecting my laptop screen (screen emoji), TV (yet another screen emoji?), and computer mouse just fine.
However, the game had a heck of a time detecting shoes, a jacket, or a phone. In fact, I pointed my phone at a veritable treasure trove of shoes and it kept asking if it was paper towels.
I failed the game at that point.
The game is powered by an AI image recognition system that’s flaky at best. Along with the shoe mishap mentioned above, it also interpreted my Roku remote as a phone, and multiple other objects as paper towels.
Why so many paper towels?!
Despite the hiccups, the technology behind it was impressive from a technical standpoint, and the concept overall is enjoyable.
Google has a long history of introducing fun, experimental projects based on its technology, like this incredible interactive music video or a AI beat generator. The projects are developed by third parties but vetted and officially released by Google.