Here’s a pretty nifty idea for a new visual search engine. “Like.com” creates results from both text and image matches! Take for example, a silver watch you saw in a magazine, but you had no clue which brand it was. If you had an image of it, you would pop that image in, and ask the service to look for things that, well, looked “like” it! (They call it “likeness” technology) In most cases, people would go to Google Image or Froogle, but as we all know, not everything pops up in those searches, especially the ones you were looking for, mainly because not everything is indexed with the right meta tags.
Like.com is from the creators of Riya.com,which in short, is a photo sharing storage system with some smart AI(artificail intelligence). You dump in a thousand plus images in, tag a few, and riya starts to recognize images of people, puts them in groups, and automatically tags them over time. Riya recognizes colors, images, text, faces, and much more. The more people that do this and share their images, the better. Imagine seeing all those pictures of yourself from other peoples cameras during those holiday vacations you walked into!
Anyhoots, I tried out riya fro some time and enjoyed it, but never found those many tourists pics of my smiling in the mysterious background which I try to do often. Hopefully like.com will change and improve the image/product search world quickly.
It’s super technology, but they have healthy competition. Check out http://www.chezimelda.com Chez Imelda, a shoe store launched by London-based PIXSTA. Comparing the two approaches, i think the Chez Imelda site is a bit more compelling from a purist shoppers’ perspective (its faster), though Riya’s celebrity function is quite fun for a while.