Google Glass to Perform Song Recognition, and Play ‘Name that Tune’?

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Google glass song recognition

A More Fun Google Glass?

Last week Google was granted a patent that sounds like it might make Google Glass fun, which may have been an element that was missing from them before. Imagine that you hum a tune, or sing a snippet of a song, or whistle a tune, and Google could perform song recognition and tell what the song is. If this works on Google Glass, I suspect that it might come to other devices running Google or Android as well.

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The patent is:

Song identification trigger
Inventors: Basheer Tome
Assignee: Google
US Patent 9,367,613
Granted June 14, 2016
Filed: January 30, 2014


The present disclosure provides a wearable computing device. The wearable computing device may include a control system configured to perform functions. The functions may include receiving sensor data from one or more sensors of the wearable computing device. The functions may also include determining whether the sensor data is indicative of humming, singing, or whistling by a wearer. The functions may also include causing the wearable computing device to perform a content recognition of audio content in an ambient environment of the wearable computing device in response to the sensor data being indicative of humming, singing, or whistling by the wearer.

A Little about the Inventor of This Process

The inventor of this song recognition patent, Basheer Tome, has his resume online where he tells us that he worked as a hardware design intern at Google X, where he:

Designed experimental hardware and software input technologies for Google Glass through a range of prototyping methods to inspire and rally people around new concept ideas & applications.

After some time at HP he returned to Google where he is presently a Hardware Engineer working on the Google Daydream controller.

It seems that Google Glass may also recognize that a person is nodding their head or tapping their foot to ambient music that is playing, and it may attempt to identify that song, including the song title, the genre of the song, the artist, and the album title. It may even offer the person wearing the heads-up-display an option to purchase the song from a digital media library. (I could see Google offering an option like that for use with an Android phone, and the patent does hint at that possibility.)

Purchasing or Rating Recognized Songs

Purchase or rate recognized song

The patent tells us that it might attempt to capture a humming profile, a whistling profile, and a singing profile from the wearer of the device to “more accurately track a wearer’s particular hum, sing, or whistle.” It may also capture a “nodding profile” to know when a wearer might nod to accompany the music.

If the device captures humming, singing or whistling, it may record those sounds and use a song database to try to identify the song.

If the device wearer owns the song they are whistling or singing or humming, instead of offering to allow them to purchase the song, it may ask them if they would like to rate the song. This system may also enable the wearer to look at lists of “recently hummed tunes,” “recently sung tunes,” and “recently whistled tunes.”

While it offers to allow a person to purchase or rate those songs, the patent doesn’t say anything about playing those songs for them. It would probably make sense to offer something like that as an option. At the recent Apple Developer’s Conference, there was a presentation about Apple Music and ways that it was being upgraded and one of the things they showed us was that they might show song lyrics to songs people were playing. I could see a lyric display being an option in this process as well. Google Glass may end up becoming a great karaoke device. That would be a new concept idea for Google Glass that could help with its resurrection.

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