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Google Cloud Vision API enters Beta, open to all to try!

February 18, 2016
Ram Ramanathan

Product Manager, Google Cloud Platform

Today, we're announcing the beta release of Google Cloud Vision API. Now anyone can submit their images to the Cloud Vision API to understand the contents of those images — from detecting everyday objects (for example, “sports car,” “sushi,” or “eagle”) to reading text within the image or identifying product logos.

With the beta release of Cloud Vision API, you can access the API with location of images stored in Google Cloud Storage, along with existing support of embedding an image as part of the API request. We’re also announcing pricing for Cloud Vision API and added additional capabilities to identify the dominant color of an image. For example, you can now apply Label Detection on an image for as little as $2 per 1,000 images or Optical Character Recognition (OCR) for $0.60 for 1,000 images. Pricing will be effective, starting March 1st.


Cloud Vision API supports a broad set of scenarios from:

  • Insights from your images: Powered by the same technologies behind Google Photos, Cloud Vision API detects broad sets of objects in your images — from flowers to popular landmarks
  • Inappropriate content detection: Powered by Google SafeSearch, Cloud Vision API moderates content from your crowd sourced images by detecting different types of inappropriate content.
  • Image sentiment analysis: Cloud Vision API can analyze emotional attributes of people in your images, like joy, sorrow and anger, along with detecting popular product logos.
  • Text extraction: Optical Character Recognition (OCR) enables you to detect text within your images, along with automatic language identification across a broad set of languages.


Since we announced the limited preview of Google Cloud Vision API in early December, thousands of companies have used the API, generating millions of requests for image annotations. We're grateful for your feedback and comments and have been amazed by the breadth of applications using Cloud Vision API.

PhotoFy, a social photo editing and branding app, moderates over 150,000 photos a day created by a wide audience. Before the Cloud Vision API was available, CTO Chris Keenan said that protecting these branded photos from abuse was almost impossible. With the Cloud Vision API, PhotoFy can flag potentially violent and adult content on user created photos in line with their abuse policies

Marsal Gavaldà, Director of Engineering for machine intelligence over at Yik Yak, a location-based social network, ran over a million images through the Cloud Vision API. The company was impressed with the accuracy of its feature detectors and content analyzers and the precision and recall of the text extraction in multiple languages. The number of objects that can be identified with the Cloud Vision API is an order of magnitude greater than comparable services from other cloud providers.

During the beta timeframe, each user will have a quota of 20 million images/month. As such, Cloud Vision API is not intended for real-time mission critical applications. You can access the documentation, with samples and tutorials showing usage of the API in Python and Java1, along with mobile app samples for Android and iOS.

Google Cloud Vision API is our first step on the journey to enable applications to see, hear and make information in the world more useful. We welcome customers to join us on the journey and start using the API today. You can reach us with questions or feedback here.

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1 Java is the registered trademark of Oracle and/or its affiliates.

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