Emerging Technology: Communicating Through Images

Technology that allows computers to recognize images has been around for awhile. Many movies have featured military scenarios that use lasers to target a specific object. The jargon most often used is “painting the target”, which is just another way of saying, recognizing the image. Another often used scenario involves security, for example, placing one’s thumb or eyeball, or someone else’s thumb or eyeball, in the case of the bad guys, to be scanned for identification. Business applications of image recognition currently in use include: quality inspection, sorting by size and shape, and barcodes. This type of technology now seems poised to move to the next level.
Smart-phone cameras combined with people’s eagerness to embrace new technology have highlighted an opportunity, and helped push the development of image recognition technology into the mainstream. Applications are emerging that will add another dimension to the way people interact with the world. Imagine a car enthusiast having coffee in an outdoor cafe. A new model car parks across the street instantly awakening a desire for details. Using the smart-phone camera, plus an image recognition application, means that one click of the camera and information about this exciting new car is available. Another customer at the cafe is reading a magazine and finds an advertisement for a pair of gloves at a reduced price. Once again, out comes the smart-phone camera: click, shop, price compare, purchase, and smile. These are two examples of the possibilities with image recognition technology. Some well known companies have already developed useful applications, and continue to study the potential. One company leading the way in developing the uses of this technology is Slyce.
Slyce has developed a proprietary visual search technology. The company partners with retailers and uses this technology to provide timely information to their customers. Customers can capture an image of any product seen in reality, and use that image to identify and shop for the item online. Customers do not need a name, barcode, web-address or any other identifying detail to begin a search. All that is needed is an image. How cool is that?

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