Emoji Scavenger Hunt: Google’s Bizarre Emoji Detective Game is Now Available

Become a real life emoji detective with Google’s Emoji Scavenger Hunt; an A.I. experiment which uses your smartphone camera to find real life emojis.
Google has launched Emoji Scavenger Hunt, an experimental game that combines artificial intelligence and augmented reality to find real life emojis.

The experiment, designed to show case machine learning and the power of a neural network, is free to play from any smartphone, compatible browser or tablet device.

Emoji Scavenger Hunt: How to Play

Recommended to be played from Google Chrome or Safari for best results, this simple game has you scrambling around playing emoji detective, pointing your phone camera at items the app requests.

For example, you could be asked to find a shoe which will be represented as the corresponding emoji; you will then be given a set amount of time to find any shoe and win the round. 

Thankfully, no pictures or video is stored during the experiment - all interactions are on your device locally, meaning they are not transmitted to backend servers and Google doesn’t see them. They even link to the open source code to further alleviate privacy concerns.

How accurate is Emoji Scavenger Hunt?

As the app is in an experimental state, it certainly isn’t without its flaws and quirks; during our testing, we were asked to locate a computer mouse - but despite focusing the camera and trying various angles, the app would not recognise the mouse.

Other items requested by the Emoji Scavenger Hunt included a TV, a shoe and a smartphone - all of which the A.I. guessed correctly.

The app is powered by Tensorflow.js and is one of many open source projects from one of the world’s biggest tech companies. The Emoji Scavenger Hunt was created in unison with teams from Brand Studio.
Lauren Williams 12 July 2018

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