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Google's Knowledge Graph expands into movies on Android tablets thanks to facial recognition

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info cards google play movies
info cards google play movies

Not content to let Amazon hold the limelight with its new X-Ray for TV feature unveiled this morning, Google is unveiling a similar feature for movies in the Google Play store. On an Android tablet (and sadly, only on Android tablets), when you hit pause on a movie it will automatically fill the screen with relevant info cards for the actors and music from what you're watching. The information comes from Google's Knowledge Graph, but interestingly Google isn't figuring out which cards to display based solely on the movie's metadata. Instead, it's using facial recognition on the actors and Sound Search on the music to automatically figure out what to display.

The cards pop up on the righthand side of the movie as you pause, with a circle drawn around the relevant actor's face — and you can tap on each actor's face to bring up different cards. The info cards look and behave just like they do in Google Search or Google Now. The cards have previously appeared as a feature in Google Books, and taken all together it's obvious that the company intends to leverage its 700 million-entity Knowledge Graph in as many places as it can. Google says that the feature will be offered on "hundreds of movies" with more coming every day, and it's only available in the US. Again it only works on an Android tablet running Android 4.0 or higher — though Google says that it hopes to add "more movies in more countries and devices soon." On that front, Google has also launched Play Movies in India and Mexico.