Image recognition may simply bring to mind surfing the web and recognizing an image. However that is not the type of image recognition we are talking about, we are talking about image recognition by computers and software. The ability for a software to recognize images could revolutionize the way we search for items on the internet, the way we shop, and even the way we learn. The biggest hurdle for this type of software is knowing whether the software actually understands what the image is, and not just be able to pick things that look similar.
Some companies are currently looking into making these types of software, for instance Google is currently working on such a software to help increase their search engine’s productivity. Another company, Fujitsu Laboratories, has already implemented such a software for a different reason, production. With their assembly line being automated, any changes in the product could take weeks to program into the manufacturing machine. However, with image recognition software, the machine is able to pick up the changes and correct itself. Before this program, the production line would be idle while the programmers hastily worked to program the new parameters, now all they need to do is show the machine a break down image of the product and it is good to go.
One company in particular has taken this new style of visual search, Slyce has utilized this type of program to help small businesses and consumers purchase items with just a picture. Imagine you’re walking down the street, as you’re walking you happen to notice that a woman passing you by has a lovely purse. Now most people aren’t going to stop the woman and ask the brand of purse and where she got it, they would just keep walking and miss out on owning such a fine item. Slyc however allows you to take a picture of an item and the app identifies the item and shows you retailers that sell the item, thus allowing you to find that handbag you had your eyes on.
Image recognition software can have a huge impact on the commercial world. With the ability to simply take a picture of an item and find it online, automate a production line, which in turn lowers prices, or simply improving your search engine experience, this new technology is only going to get better as time goes on and more companies start taking advantage.