So I’ve successfully run the demos that come with the Unity asset (available on the Asset Store; Golan bought a class copy) for the Google Cloud Vision API. Here’s a video of me using the Optical Character Recognition capability, which was actually the TutorialExample demo in the Unity package:

Additionally, the Unity package comes with the demo that’s shown off in this video.

The Google Cloud Vision API is a very powerful asset that can let you send an image to the Google Cloud and get back data regarding its labels (with what confidence Google thinks this is a picture, say, of a duck, a bird, water, etc.), its properties (dominant colors), adult or violent content, logo recognition, and web results for similar images, in addition to OCR and a few other features.

If you’re interested in using the Cloud Vision API yourself (and not just in Unity), then you’ll need to create an account on the Google Cloud Platform and enter your billing information. Google has a lot of documentation for this stuff, but really doesn’t have a place to start (or I haven’t found one yet) for total beginner individuals.

To run Cloud Vision, in Unity and elsewhere, you’ll need an API key which you can generate from the Credentials page under the APIs & Services menu option on your Google Cloud Platform console. Following the pdf tutorial that comes with the Unity package, you’ll enter the API key you generate on your Platform console into the GCVision GameObject in your Unity scene.

You’ll also need to create a new project—as far as I know, that’s just a way to separate your billing between different apps if you’re making multiple ones—from the console, and set up the billing for that project. I had to enter my billing information twice, once to set up my Platform account and again to connect the billing to my project. I don’t know if that was a mistake.

Google gives you $300 credit for the first year, which farcar told me amounts to something like 50,000 requests to their server. And even afterward, I think the next 50,000 is only $1.50 (bottom of this link).

I also made a dummy button and built it to my phone, to begin to move towards my final app: