Google’s Area 120, an internal incubator program for experimental projects, today releases a new app called Stack, which borrows the technology that underpins the search giant. powerful DocAI business tool for document analysis. The end result is a consumer document scanner app for Android that Google says vastly improves on your average mobile scanner by automatically categorizing documents in the titular stacks and allowing the full text to search through the content of the documents and not just the title.
“I joined Google a few years ago when my startup, Socratic, was acquired. At Socratic, we’ve used Google’s computer vision and language comprehension to make high school students’ learning easier. I was wondering if we could apply the same technologies to make document organizing easier, ”Christopher Pedregal, Stack’s team leader, said in a statement.
Following the acquisition, Pedregal and his colleague Matthew Cowan joined Google’s Area 120, where they came up with an app that could use DocAI and the artificial intelligence technology to improve the process of scanning receipts, bills and other important documents. The app uses Google’s biometric authentication on Android, so you can secure sensitive documents behind facial or fingerprint scans to unlock the software. It also automatically creates fields for scanned invoices, so you can enter due dates and other important information.
The app, like so many of Google’s experimental (and sometimes even not-so-experimental) efforts, is released in the hope that it will catch on and not with a truly concrete business model or clear roadmap. Pedregal emphasizes that “it’s early days” for Stack, which means the app “can still get things wrong”. It also means it can be sent to the Google Graveyard in an instant – though presumably with the option to export your documents if that happens at some point in the future.
That said, it seems like a powerful alternative to a regular document scanner, and few companies are better than Google at understanding text and recognizing images. So it’s definitely worth a try if you’re looking for a better way to organize your real paper.