Getting Started With Microsoft Azure Cognitive Services - Computer Vision API

In this article you will learn how to get started with Microsoft Azure Cognitive services – Computer Vision API

Introduction

In this article, you will learn how to get started with Microsoft Azure Cognitive Services – Computer Vision API.

Overview


This is in continuation of my articles with respect to Cognitive Services. I have come across some complicated articles with respect to Cognitive Services, but as I've been working on this Service for the last six months, I thought of writing simple, step by step articles with respect to Cognitive Services.

If you have landed directly on this article, I would also recommend you read the articles, mentioned below.

As defined, Cognitive Services provides the best suite for having interactive, automated model of Application. It helps to build powerful intelligence into the Applications to enable natural and contextual interactions.

Computer Vision API as described by Microsoft, extracts rich information from the images to categorize and process the visual data and protect your users from unwanted content.

  • Analyze an image; i.e., getting information about the visual content found in an image.
  • Generate Thumbnail-  Generate a high quality thumbnail, based on any input image.
  • Read text in the images- With optical character recognition (OCR), one can detect text in an image. One can take photos of the text instead of copying to save time and effort.
  • Recognize celebrities- Recognizes 200,000 celebrities from business, politics, sports and entertainment around the world. It is a continuously evolving feature within Computer Vision API.

You will learn more about Computer Vision API in later articles. To start with, let's create a cognitive account to use Computer Vision API , using Azure portal.

Here, let's assume that you have Azure portal account. If not, create your free Azure account. Once done with account creation, click '+’ => Category, Intelligence + analytics => Services, Cognitive Services API's.

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Fill the details, mentioned below.

  • Account Name
    Unique name for cognitive Computer Vision API account. 

  • Subscription
    Free or in case of any subscription, you have must have selected it. 

  • API Type
    Cognitive Services provides a set of awesome APIs. For this article, I will go with Computer Vision API. 

  • Pricing Tier
    As per selected API, pricing option will be listed. Select anyone among the listed option Resource Group: You can select an existing Resource group or create new. 

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  • Account Name
    compVisionwithKasam. 

  • Subscription
    I have selected my subscription. 

  • Resource Group
    I have created a new resource group for grouping Cognitive related Services, named as CodeCognitivewithKasam. 

  • API Type
    Cognitive Services provides a set of awesome API's. For this article, I will go with Computer Vision API. 

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Currently, Service is in preview and hence only available at Western US locations. Once we select, Computer Vision API from the list of APIs, the location will get set to 'West US'.

Pricing Tier

For Computer Vision selected API, the pricing option, mentioned below, is listed. Let's select Free as pricing tier. You can go with the other options, which are available in free trial account.

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Click on Legal Terms option. Blade with the details terms will be displayed. Read it carefully and subsequently click = > I Agree => Create.

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After successful creation, the box can be seen in the dashboard.

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Click on Resource groups => CodeCognitivewithKasam (resource group selected) => Overview, Computer Vision API cognitive account created will be listed, Click on account name.

Overview => Will list all details associated with Computer Vision API Cognitive account.

Endpoint is a base URL of Restful Computer Vision API, provided by Microsoft. I will look into it in coming articles.

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Click on Keys under Resource Management. This will list the key details (Key 1, Key 2), which are used in our Application to leverage Computer Vision API Services.

We can also regenerate the keys by clicking Regenerate Key option available, as shown below.

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Click on Quick Start to have a quick introduction of Cognitive Services, along with, API documentation to use cognitive Computer Vision API's.

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Summary

How easy it is to get started with Cognitive Services. By now, we saw how effortlessly we created Cognitive Services Computer Vision API account, using Microsoft Azure portal.

We can use these keys being generated to communicate our app with super intelligent Computer Vision API.

In later articles, I will use these keys and look at how this can be used in our Application.

I would recommend trying this and being ready with the keys.

Happy Azure coding.