22nd Entertainment Division Excellence Award
LINNÉ LENS Production Team (SUGIMOTO Kenichi, Representative) ［Japan］
Named after Carl von Linné, the father of modern taxonomy, this handy AI illustrated encyclopedia app puts approximately 10,000 animal names at the user’s fingertips with a single smartphone scan. Hold a smartphone up to a creature and its name pops right up; tap its picture for a detailed, illustrated commentary. With an average successful-scan recognition rate of about 90 percent, LINNÉ LENS can handle both moving animals and creatures in mixed groups. The app supports 90% of the animals in Japan’s aquariums and zoos, includes a phylogenetic tree to show creature connections, and allows users to combine their own photographs with commentary to create a one-of-a-kind illustrated encyclopedia. And because the image recognition is performed locally in real time, the app is just as useful underwater or deep in the mountains where there is spotty cell coverage—or none at all. This fusion of AR (augmented reality) and AI is a promising new take on edutainment.
Reason for Award
This app performs so reliably that it can be enjoyed as pure entertainment, forgetting that its AI and image recognition are at the cutting-edge of technology. It is no exaggeration to say this is the world’s first AI illustrated encyclopedia—yet it still feels unassuming. Currently it can recognize 90% of the creatures in Japanese aquariums, a percentage that is bound to increase. Its tracking is shockingly smooth in action at the aquarium—almost like you have downloaded an oceanographer’s eye, gaining expert experience and eyesight in two seconds. Perhaps one day we can download a chef’s tongue, a musician’s ear, and a sculptor’s fingertips. With this app, the curtain has lifted on the next generation of entertainment. The user experience of completing an encyclopedia with each creature scanned was also well thought out. This vital app is sure to bridge education and entertainment. (KAWADA Tom)