This phone app has now been mentioned twice on CCF http://goccf.com/t/361518
), but I had not heard of it previously. We don't typically do product reviews here on CCF, but as I have no horse in this race, I hope that the mods will let me talk about what works well and what doesn't with "Coinoscope".
In researching it (and subsequently downloading it to my phone), I have found it to be a pretty reliable determiner of modern foreign and US coins
. For example, it perfectly attributed a 1996 Hungarian 100 Forint and 2017 Panamanian 1 Centesimo. For a Bermudan 25 Cent piece and 2012 Costa Rican 5 Colones, it got the country and denomination correct, but not the date. Interestingly, it struggled a little bit with a 2018 Serbian 5 Dinara--with this one coin rotation seemed to help, but with all others, I could take a pic with the coin at any which angle and it didn't seem to matter. Perhaps the OCR has trouble with non-English alphabet letters? Indeed, when I dug into older coins with other characters, the app continued to fail to identify the coins properly. For example, it was unable to decipher the Arabic writing on a AH-1239 dated (1823 AD) Rupee from Kabul Afghanistan. It was a little better with a 1 Mon from Japan, although it was pretty convinced that this coin was Chinese at first. Perhaps most important was my discovery that it could decipher the monogram on my 1796 Pfennig from the German City State of Brunswick-Lunenburg-Callenberg. There have been times when I have spent hours digging through online photo galleries of royal monograms trying to find one that matches a particular coin. This app might just replace some of that heavy lifting. I have included pics of this coin plus a screen shot from the app below. By the way, as one final test that I tried was taking pics of my computer monitor while on the CCF website. This seemed to work pretty well too for identifying coins with letters from the English alphabet but struggled with coin written in other alphabets.
I don't think that this app will replace CCF or r/whatisthisthing, but it is neat to see where technology can bring us. I do note that Coinoscope seems to be pulling images from numista.com, (168) Not Allowed - Auto-Removed com, and catawiki.com. Perhaps a co-branding opportunity for CCF?
I know that numismatists in general tend to be creatures of habit (and old creatures at that), but consider having your tech-savvy nephew install this app called Coinoscope on your iPhone. You might be pleasantly surprised...
Lastly, here are a few areas for improvement IMHO if the app designers ever stumble across this thread:
1. For some coins, it is helpful to see both sides of a coin to make an attribution. I wish there was a way to further refine the potential attributions by adding a second image (of the other side) to the search.
2. It would be nice if the potential attributions were quantified rather than just rank-filed. In other words, it would be cool to know that the algorithm is X% sure of the top listing, but Y% sure of number two, and Z% sure of number three.
3. I wish that the app magically took control of the phone's flashlight feature to ensure that the coin was adequately lit durign the picture-taking step (and then automatically turned it off once the pic was taken). Oddly, the app shuts down the flashlight feature if I have it turned on before trying to take an image with the app.