Has image recognition technology advanced far enough to make the classic text search box obsolete? Practically everyone has a smartphone in their pocket, and the race is on to develop user-friendly applications that allow the masses to snap a picture and then use it to search. The possible applications from medical screening to improved auto safety features are endless. But the visual search Eldorado is to use image recognition technology to direct online sales to target companies. Slyce Inc. is at the forefront of this research.
How does image technology recognition software work? Just like in social media, images can be tagged with keyword descriptions. These annotations consist of attributes such as color, size or date. Since 2009 many major universities such as Stanford, Princeton, and UC Berkeley have been creating libraries of searchable images. Social media giants such as Google, Facebook and Pinterest have been collecting tagged images from users, creating giant catalogs of images with descriptions. The race is on to create applications capable of reliably searching these image databases.
One Canadian company is proving itself as the leader in visual search engine technology: Slyce Inc. Slyce provides a Universal Scanner application. Much like the classic barcode scanner used in retail, Slyce can scan barcodes and much more. Slyce allows regular smartphone users to scan a picture from a printed retail catalog, just like looking up a word in the table of contents. Slyce doesn’t stop there, the Universal Scanner can analyze real world pictures and propose products with similar characteristics such as color, style or pattern from a provided catalog.
This revolutionary capability replaces clumsy searches on retailers’ websites. Consumers no longer need to check and uncheck boxes or struggle with drop down menus. Slyce is already providing their services to big name retailers such as Home Depot, Neiman Marcus, and Nordstroms. Retailers that cater to younger consumers such as Tilly’s, American Eagle Outfitters, and Urban Outfitters are also clamoring to make their catalog of goods part of Slyce’s purchasing suggestions.
Slyce’s challenge is not with the reliability of its visual search. According to the Wall Street Journal article “Pinterest Takes a Shot at Camera-Search Technology” Slyce is capable of averaging a 92% accuracy rate of image matching from a picture taken on a smartphone with a provided catalog of images. The innovative company is ready for the masses of smartphone users to adopt this new form of image recognition technology as their new search reflex.