Blippar’s app can tell you things about every object around you

Augmented reality startup Blippar has so far been known for using augmented reality and computer vision technology to bring information from the real world through your smartphone camera to your screen.

For example, if you aimed your camera to a movie poster adorned with Blippar’s “B” logo, it would serve up information about that movie on your phone.

But, as announced a few months ago, the company has a greater goal in mind: it wants its app to btell apart any object you point your camera to, and offer you information on it. The company presents it as a “Wikipedia for the physical world,” but it’s closer to a visual Google.

Today the UK-based startup announced the technology behind this concept, called Blipparsphere, is live. It’s based on artificial intelligence and machine learning, which help it identify everyday objects. The app then brings up relevant subjects in the form of circles with each one containing information in text form and linking to further sources.

Blippar’s app is available for iOS and Android. While it’s still early days, it’s capable of recognizing common objects without much trouble. Point the camera at something, and the app starts cycling through keywords that it thinks are relevant to it before settling on what it is.

It managed to identify my computer monitor, my coffee mug, and my coffeemaker and served up various bits of info on them. For my monitor, for example, it showed information on aspect ratios, the HDMI format, etc. It had a bit more difficulty recognizing my toaster, thinking it was a washing machine, but like I said, early days.