in eCommerce, T'interwebs, Technology First True Visual Image Search?

Herewith a further step in visual merchandising.

The engine takes both text and images as queries, something no one else does. To return results based on an image query, compares a “visual signature” for the query image to possible results. The visual signature is simply a mathematical representatioin of the image using 10,000 variables. If enough variables are identical, decides the images are similar.

What this means – If you see an image on the web, like a watch that Paris Hilton is wearing in the picture to the left, and use it as an image query, will return results showing watches that look very similar.

This could be deployed by retailers like to take actual celebrity images (say from a film premiere or suchlike) and their users can search not only for the ‘editorialised’ product but also the watch, handbag, shoes etc.

Editorial-led sites could also now offer merchandising by linking the search capability to the stock held either by a third party or an affiliate…

Complex and limiting taxonomies and product categorisations could disappear and give customers mouse-able and rapid access to product.

While it won’t sweep away navigation or searching this is a new capability for marketers to consider.

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  1. And another sort of visual search – a Google Image mash-up:

    Try selecting a large brush and painting a green base, blue top with a yellow slodge in a top corner (to try and return some landscapes). The AJAXy real time updating is quite cool, but it’s not exactly foolproof…

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