There have been major strides in development of visual search technology. Researchers at major technology companies and a handful of startups are building sophisticated algorithms that can identify the subject of photographs with increasing accuracy. Visual search technology can identify objects and return relevant information such as product information/pricing, identifying landmarks and pinpoint their location with GPS and mapping imagery, and even translate text from one language to another (see previous article). The most obvious player in this space and the one leading the way commercially is Google, but Amazon is jumping in too. Microsoft and Yahoo are conspicuously absent, at least for right now. While visual search may not make us exactly superheroes, it will certainly give us faster and more relevant information when we need it most.
(submitted by Tom)