What You See is What You Get – Image Recognition: What it is and Where it’s going

Have you ever been walking down the street and noticed a pair of shoes that you just had to have? Or a car that you just need to know more about? Have you ever been browsing Pinterest for the latest trends, found an outfit you loved and clicked the image just to find a dead-end link? The emerging technology of visual search uses image recognition to process images and find items that are the same, or similar to the picture you submitted.

While there are currently several programs out there that promise this capability, not all of them are 100% accurate in their results and not all of them work the way we would expect them to. Cortexica is one of the larger companies backing the development of this software and partners with retailers like Macy’s. Macy’s is trying to implement this software into it’s iOS app in time for the holiday rush, to allow shoppers to snag a pic of their wishlist, upload them to the app, find the same or similar items on Macys.com and purchase them on the spot. See a scarf that would look great for mom? Great! Snag a pic and find it on their app!

The current leading company in the field is Slyce‘s image recognition. With its hip name and user-friendly website, users are sure to find the information they’re looking for. Large clients including Nieman Marcus and Tilly’s have included Slyce’s visual search technology into their existing apps to help shoppers “SNAP. FIND. SHOP.”. The Nieman Marcus app allows users to snap the photo directly in the app to find what they are looking for. When it comes to the accuracy of the technology, CMO Wanda Gierhart says, “I would say it is close to 95%, if not better…”. With accuracy like that, you are sure to find what you are looking for at Nieman Marcus. Don’t feel like shopping with Nieman Marcus? That’s okay, Slyce has their own, in-house, apps to help you out: SnipSnap, Pounce, or Craves.

SnipSnap allows users to take pictures of their coupons, promo codes, barcodes, and more to help “optimize” the checkout experience at stores. You can get push notifications on your phone when coupons are going to expire and when you’re close to a store that you have coupons/savings for. Pounce and Craves work similarly to the Nieman Marcus app, but search all available retail sites for that perfect something you’ve been looking for.

Most companies see this as the next steps in the fashion and retail industries. With Social Media and picture taking at an all time high, they plan to capitalize on this movement and help people become the ultimate consumers.

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