Dream Arcades Brings Google AI to Retro Gaming With New Cartridge ID App

Dream Arcades, a leader in retro gaming technology, for the last two years has quietly been working to enable Google AI to assist gamers with cataloging and managing their video game cartridges by creating the Cartridge Analysis & Recognition Tool, or CART app.
By: Dream Arcades
SACRAMENTO, Calif. - Nov. 26, 2019 - PRLog -- Dream Arcade's Cartridge Analysis & Recognition Tool, or CART app works by taking a photo of your retro gaming cartridge, then Dream Arcade's servers query Google AI to automatically identify and add the title to your personal game catalog. The whole process takes a matter of seconds, and the system currently has a 90% or better accuracy rate for the following video game consoles: Atari 2600, 5200, Nintendo Entertainment System (NES), SNES, N64, and Sega Genesis (all of which can be played on Dream Arcade's Video Game Machines). Additionally, it's currently training to recognize cartridges from over a dozen other retro gaming systems such as Colecovision, Gameboy, and the Atari Jaguar. It's a web based app so it can be used by both iPhone, and Android users. It can even be accessed with a PC, laptop, or Kindle.

"When we first started this project, we thought we'd have to use Optical Character Recognition to read titles and serial numbers from cartridges," says Michael Ware, Head Geek at Dream Arcades. "But we've helped train Google's AI accuracy from barely 50% to over 95% for some video game systems."

His team has been collecting images for nearly two years from a small army of volunteers as well as websites such as eBay. For its part, Google has over a million cartridge images it can analyze to help identify thousands of different games.

Currently, the CART app is limited to Dream Arcade's customers and volunteers, but as the number of systems it can recognize improves Dream Arcades expects to roll it out to a larger audience—along with new features such as sharing game catalogs, recommending games you might enjoy, or even identifying rare or prototype cartridges.

"AI has recently been in the news for its ability to beat world-class gamers. But we wanted to find a way to leverage AI to actually help gamers," says Michael. The system is already expanding beyond its original objective by learning to identify damaged cartridges, as well as game variants. The project's ultimate goal is to give the average gamer the same ability as the most experienced collector when it comes to finding rare or valuable video games. The most expensive game cartridges can be worth over a hundred thousand dollars—soon Dream Arcade's CART app might just tell you if you've got a hidden treasure.


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