Despite primarily being known as a search engine, Google does more beyond that and is actually a pretty big company.
Aside from being a champion of online advertising, it also develops its own hardware, manages a robust cloud services platform and, from time to time, conducts experiments with artificial intelligence.
One such experiment is Move Mirror, which matches whatever pose or move a user makes to tons of images from others making that same pose. The nifty little experiment first records the user's movements, then uses a computer vision model called PoseNet to detect the body's main framework, such as the joints, torso, arms, and legs. It then compares the recorded poses to over 80,000 images and finds the best "mirror" ones.
Move Mirror Google AI Experiment
It does this in real time, it should be noted, meaning the images change as the user changes their pose or makes various movements. There's an even an option to make a GIF of one's poses side-by-side the Move Mirror matches.
"With Move Mirror, we're showing how computer vision techniques like pose estimation can be available to anyone with a computer and a webcam," wrote Irene Alvarado, creative technologist at Google Creative Lab, in a blog post. "We also wanted to make machine learning more accessible to coders and makers by bringing pose estimation into the browser — hopefully inspiring them to experiment with this technology."
Where Do The Images Go?
Those who might be worried about data privacy don't have to be. Google ensures that images used with Move Mirror don't get stored or sent to a server and that's because the experiment integrates TensorFlow.js, meaning all of the post-tracking is executed via the browser.
Move Mirror is just one of Google's more entertaining experiments in recent years. Past ones have allowed users to type in statements or questions, then get passages from literature in response. There was also one previous experiment where a user would get different rhymes upon showing various objects in front of the camera.
Users can try using Move Mirror by visiting the official website. Geeky users can also read Google's Medium blog post to get a more in-depth look at how the whole thing works. Google promises Move Mirror won't be the last experiment, by the way.
"Move Mirror is just one experiment in what we hope will be a Cambrian explosion of delightful and accessible in-browser pose experiments to come," the blog read.