Recently I had the opportunity to talk to colleges and clients about an iPhone app called Kooaba. Kooaba is a visual image recognition platform, that has the ability to recognize real world objects, much like Google Goggles.
I think that image recognition technology like this may become more prevalent… someday. One current, real world example of this is the Amazon Remembers feature in Amazon’s iPhone app – although it’s not live object recognition, users can still take pictures of products, and then have the collective group intelligence of Amazon’s Mechanical Turk network recognize the object, and return relevant shopping information.
For live recognition, I don’t think that camera/image recognition/processing power/software development will advance fast enough to allow the US to completely leapfrog over the use high-res barcodes, like QR. QR will come to the US eventually, however when it does make it here, it may be a bit more evolved than when it initially gained traction in Japan. Live object recognition will come with the help of companies like Kooaba and Google, but it may take a bit for the reliability to be good enough for everyday usage. Other technologies such as RFID will also contribute.
Finally, advances in MEMS technology has allowed manufacturers to build in more “world sensing” capabilities into their devices. This includes tilt sensors, gyros, compasses, and GPS chips. As these technologies develop even more, phone will be able to more accurately sense where, and what they’re looking at.
Some related reading….