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Context information using OCR, Entity Linking and Xamarin

Like I said in my previous article, the power of Microsoft Cognitive Services is amazing. With just minimal effort having machine learning at your fingertips is extremely useful. I wanted to dive even deeper in Cognitive Services and was intrigued by the Entity Linking Intelligence Service. I already knew the Computer Vision API could do some OCR and I wanted to combine these to try something that I already thought of years ago.

When you visit a museum and you look at a painting, 9 out of 10 times there's a sign next to it with some information about it. Although many art experts will know exactly what painting technique is used, who the artist is, why he painted it etc., I'll be needing more information than what's on that sign. This is where Entity Linking will come in useful.

Context information using OCR, Entity Linking and Xamarin

Once again we'll be using Xamarin.Forms with a focus on iOS (but Android and/or UWP will work the same way). The source code can be found on Github.

Let's see if the combination of these cognitive services can help us to achieve this goal!


Tags:  ocr entity linking computer vision cognitive services xamarin microsoft
 
Image Recognition with Computer Vision and Xamarin

Ever since the Microsoft Cognitive Services were available, I always wanted to give those APIs a spin. The power of machine learning at your fingertips, that's pretty awesome! Today I managed to hook up a Xamarin app to the Computer Vision API to do some image recognition. The basic idea of this app is really simple: Let the Computer Vision tell you what you're looking at. Simply take a picture, pass it along the Computer Vision API and display the result in the app. It'll tell you what it thinks you're looking at.

Image Recognition with Microsoft Cognitive Services Computer Vision and Xamarin

Because this is a simple demo, we'll be using Xamarin.Forms. Although I'll only focus on iOS here, you can easily extend it to Android and/or UWP. The source code can be found on Github.

So let's see how you're able to use the Computer Vision API inside your Xamarin app. I'll give you a small hint: it's really simple!


Tags:  computer vision cognitive services xamarin microsoft mobile
 
Put your HTML development on steroids using Yeoman

Last year, Addy Osmani told me about a "tool" called Yeoman. Although it was a great tip back than, I didn't directly feel the need to make use of the tool. Until a couple of weeks ago.

While starting another web project, I started downloading the always used framewoks like jQuery and the HTML5 Boilerplate (or making my own boilerplate which holds everything already). This is actually pretty boring, while I really want to start developing! That's where Yeoman can help out.

Yeoman

At first glance, Yeoman is just a tool that can help you to build web application with ease. But saying so wouldn't give Yeoman enough credits. As stated on their website, Yeoman 1.0 is more than just a tool. It's a workflow; a collection of tools and best practices working in harmony to make developing for the web even better. In this article, I'll try to explain in my words how to work with Yeoman and why it's so awesome. It can help you become a better allround webdeveloper!


Tags:  yeoman workflow bower grunt javascript html
 
CSS animated profile cards

Whoah, been a while since I've posted something! Yet, I wanted to mess around with some fun CSS3 stuff and wanted to share the results with you. Today, we're going to create CSS animated profile cards. Although there are four different kind or animations (Push, Slide, 3D Flip and Explode), they all share the same kind of HTML structure. Simply hover over the images to see the contact details.

CSS animated profile cards

The pictures used are created by Belovodchenko Anton, but their profile data is fake. -prefix-free has been used to remove the vendor prefixes in CSS. All animations are done with the help of the transition property.

Demo CSS animated profile cards   Download CSS animated profile cards

So, how can you create this effect for yourself? Let's dive into the code, explaining the parts one at the time.


Tags:  profile cards css3 animation
 
CSS3 quickie: The Facebook loading animation

After the couple of jQuery Quickies that have been placed online on this website, I today present you a CSS3 quickie. Just a short walkthrough to create a simple effect, to learn some basic stuff. In this case, we're recreating the Facebook loading animation using CSS3 animations. I'm pretty sure that you've seen the animation before, if you're a Facebook user.

Facebook loading animation

We're using CSS3 keyframes to create the desired effect. We'll be using prefix free from @LeaVerou to use unprefixed CSS3 properties.

Demo Facebook loading animation   Download Facebook loading animation

Take note this example only works properly in browser that support the keyframes property. I've tested this script and verified that it's working in the latest versions of Firefox, Chrome and Safari.


Tags:  facebook css3 animation keyframes simple
 
Recreating the IBM Lotusphere logo in CSS3

A while ago, I visited the IBM Lotusphere 2012 conference page. One thing that I noticed immediately, was their beautiful logo on the background. Although it's design is very minimal and simple, the logo just looks very good.

I wanted to recreate this logo using only HTML and CSS3. The main key to this effect is using the border-radius and overflow:hidden properties. I've created two versions: One that uses extra HTML elements, the second one uses CSS3 pseudo elements.

IBM Lotusphere logo in CSS3

Check out the demo to see how the logo looks like in your browser. Keep in mind, no images are used at all. Feel free to dig in the source code as well and maybe learn a couple of things.

Demo IBM Lotusphere logo in CSS3   Download IBM Lotusphere logo in CSS3

Let's take a look under the hood to see how you can create something like this yourself. It's actually easier that it might look!


Tags:  ibm lotusphere logo css3
 
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