AlchemySnap: Print, Point, Shoot, Search


alchemysnapHave a printed article or piece of information in front of you and want more information about relevant topics in the article? Now you can use an application called AlchemySnap to take a picture of a printed article using your phone and their server processes this information, displaying the most important search terms for you to drill down information from Google Search, Wikipedia and more.

It’s really better seen than explained:

It doesn’t stop with printed text on paper – snap a picture of your computer screen and you can get the same results. I’m not sure how useful/practical this is in every day life but I think if used, refined and applied to other settings the underlying technology could be of great value.

The application is undeniably “neat”, but what does everyone think in terms of real life use? Is this something you would use? Can you think of ways to extend the application’s concept to other situations?

[Orchestr8 via AndroidForums]

Rob Jackson
I'm an Android and Tech lover, but first and foremost I consider myself a creative thinker and entrepreneurial spirit with a passion for ideas of all sizes. I'm a sports lover who cheers for the Orange (College), Ravens (NFL), (Orioles), and Yankees (long story). I live in Baltimore and wear it on my sleeve, with an Under Armour logo. I also love traveling... where do you want to go?

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  1. Looks like a simple OCR type server based application if I’m not mistaken? I could see it being useful in some instances, but I’d rather skim the document, find the main topic and just search myself with a few clicks instead of having to take a picture, wait for their servers to OCR it and then search. Cool idea however!

  2. In general, I don’t need to do this much research on terms/concepts from an article, but this is snappy tech. I’d like to see it applied to multilingual tools. I want an OCR app like this that just runs it through Google Language Tools translate. Also, overlaying links to dictionary sites for each word would be nice. I’m thinking something similar to what the Firefox plugin Rikaichan does for Japanese, but for print, and general to more languages.

  3. I wonder if it would work for those pesky Windows errors that wont even allow you to boot the computer to get on the internet and find out how to remedy the situation?

  4. Rich – I imagine it would work great for that purpose, if the errors made any sense. :)

  5. When you guys do a post about an app like this, would it be possible to start including the QR-code link to the app, like the one pictured here? http://www.cyrket.com/package/orchestr8.alchemysnap

    That way we can scan it with the barcode scanner app and it will take us directly to the app in the market. It’s an incredibly fun and convenient feature and I’m hoping more sites will start to include these barcodes.

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