Posts tagged: image based search engine

Visual Search Engines: The Future Search Engines

Text based search engines, such as Google, Yahoo, and Microsoft search engines, have become an important tool for us to obtain useful information through Internet. Interestingly, even you want to find a picture on the web, a text description of the picture has to be input to the search box. The search engine is then actually doing a text-context based search.

Imagine the following scenarios. Your girlfriend/wife came across a lady carrying a beautiful handbag on the 5th Ave of New York City. She quickly took a photo of that bag using her iPhone. Can she find similar bags instantly through iPhone? In another scenario when she came across a stylish Chanel handbag, which is too expensive for you to afford. Can you quickly find a cheaper one of similar style online?

Obviously, the current functionalities of major search engines are far from meeting our increasing¬†demand. First of all, “Each picture is worth a thousand of words”, therefore, sometimes it is kind of difficult to describe what you really want using concise phrases. Secondly, even if you can describe the scene, many unrelated pictures are usually returned for you to manually sift what you need page by page.

Is there an efficient and automatic way to solve this problem? The answer is yes, I believe. Visual search will be the future and the ultimate solution for above scenarios.

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