Blue Flower

People have been using traditional search techniques for so long that it's easy to forget how unintuitive they are. For example, imagine seeing a fantastic pair of shoes. You'd love to have them for yourself but you're not sure of the exact brand or name. Now imagine how hard it'd be to find it using a search engine. The color and shape are so hard to accurately describe with search engine friendly words that it can be almost impossible. And that's where an interesting solution is finally coming about. It's still only slowly appearing in apps, but visual search is on the way to all of our phones.

The basic idea is exactly what the name suggests. It's a search algorithm based on visual rather than textual data. Basically, that means that you're able to search by what you see. It might seem like an idea that should have happened a long time ago. And it's certainly not for lack of trying. The big issue has been that the technology needed a lot of pieces to be in play before it could happen. One of the biggest was that people needed to actually be able to tell the visual search system what to look for. It's easy to forget, but it's only fairly recently that people have had smartphones on their person. Before that people seldom had a camera with them. And if they did, it usually didn't have any way to access the internet. 

But smartphones, tablets and even laptops have dramatically changed the situation. These days if someone can see an item than they can probably take a picture of it. And this brings up both the next problem and the next solution. It can take a lot of processing power to analyze a high quality photo and receive useful data from it. And of course there's also work to be done with the information afterward. Even when software can recognize the general nature of something it'll still have to do something with those results. And this is where one company in particular has changed things. 

Slyce is the current industry leader in visual search functionality. They've developed special methods involving cloud storage and cloud computing to analyze visual search data from mobile devices. And the really amazing thing is that they're able to do so even on very low powered devices. This is because the visual search is handled in a similar way to how the biggest companies handle text searches. Much of the search process is actually computed by supercomputers within the company's special system. Slyce is able to easily work this system into any kind of mobile app. Whether it's one they've developed themselves, or one which a client wants modified to include this extra functionality.