Automatic beer label recognition

Yesterday, the Antwerp pub ‘Kulminator’ was nominated by ratebeer.com as Best Beer Pub. I work in Antwerp, and yesterday after work, I went over there with a couple of collegues, to enjoy some beer.

We talked about beers, and I showed my collegues the remembeer app on my Android phone. This app allows you to log the beers you drink, and to rate them. But as it turns out, I don't log the beers I drink that often. When there is a beer in front of me, most of the time I don't have time to log it using the tiny buttons of the Android software keyboard. :)

So one of my collegues said: you should be able to take a picture of the label or cap of the bottle. The app should recognize this picture, and automatically fill out the information about the beer.

Now this sounded like an interesting project. I want to program such a thing. But I'm not sure how to start.

I guess I need to develop some kind of backend, to which you can upload pictures. Or maybe I can upload the picture to some existing image recognition backend, and then do something with the result.

I did a little Googling, and I found out about TinEye, an online reverse picture search. Maybe I can upload the pictures to TinEye (or something similar), and use the result for searching the beer info in a backend database.

If I ever succeed in programming such a service, I would be happy to implement this into remembeer (if the source code will be available again some time). I will any way contact the remembeer devs.

Now, what I want to know from you, dear reader :-)

  • Do you know any existing open source app that does something similar to beer label recognition? I think there are apps for wine, but I doubt they are open source.
  • How would you interpret images of beer labels? Do you know any existing open source projects for image matching?
  • Are you a beer lover, and do you want to help me generating a database with pictures of labels/caps and info about beers?
  • Are you a programmer, and do you want to help me with the implementation of this project?

If you answer ‘yes’ to one of the above questions, and you want to help me out, please contact me.

updated: Contact info

  • !beerscan identi.ca group
  • Please upload pictures of beer labels/caps, and tag them with #beerlabel.
  • I am still working on a web site for the project.
  • I am @johanv on identi.ca
  • You can e-mail me: my address is my first name, followed by @losderover.be

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