Microsoft has expanded the reach of its image recognition tools to include a glass bottle. In this case, the tools are being used to help celebrate the 100th anniversary of the classic bottle that was first created by the Coca-Cola soft drink company.
Microsoft first launched its How-Old.net website earlier this year, which used a combination of tools and services to detect how old a person is in a photo. However, the tools have now been improved so it can now detect a glass Coke bottle, either by itself or held by another person in the photo. Uploading a phote with such a bottle on the How-old.net site will unlock a "surprise" that we won't spoil here.
Microsoft's team had to create a new machine learning model so the site could recognize a glass Coke bottle:
For the first step, they used Python scripts and image processing libraries, to detect the Coca Cola logo. They then used deep neural networks from Azure Machine Learning to create a dedicated model that can identify whether there's a bottle in the area surrounding the logo. The scientists trained it with thousands of images collected online and from Coca-Cola, continuously iterating to improve the accuracy of the models through a tool called the Visual Model Evaluator. After all, faces can take up a big part of a photo, while bottles are relatively small. And the logo within it, smaller still.
Microsoft says this kind of image detection could be used in other ways in the future such as a way to reveal the nutritional value of a meal in a photo or detecting colors for washing machine cycles.