Mobile Visual Search


I am impressed with a new mobile application that allows iPhone users to quickly search consumer product information. Currently, the Visual Search is designed for iPhone only and is not yet released by IQ Engines.

According to IQ Engines’ Website, you can use your iPhone’s camera, point at any product to retrieve detailed product information, reviews, prices, and purchase links.  To learn more about Visual Search, please view the following video created by IQ Engines.

I think Visual Search is an interesting mobile application that has a potential use in education and training.  Image that we can use our mobile devices and an application like Visual Search to find similar drawings, paintings, images, music sheets, art works, and etc. from libraries and museums in the world.  I guess it won’t be long to see more powerful media-centric Web applications.  Web 3.0 is coming soon.

About Dr. Steve Yuen

I am Dr. Steve Yuen, a Professor Emeritus of Instructional Technology and Design at The University of Southern Mississippi. This is my personal blog on the use of emerging technologies in teaching and learning. Hope you find this blog interesting, stimulating, and educational. Please feel free to social bookmark this page.
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2 Responses to Mobile Visual Search

  1. davidsmora says:

    I am excited by the prospects of Visual Search. Watching the YouTube demonstration of this technology was very informative. For example, I initially thought this application was going to be similar to an existing barcode application I have on my Android phone. However, I discovered that Visual Search is far more advanced that my barcode scanner. This tool is very smart and fast in its response to queries. Also, I was fascinated to see how this technology recognized items that were covered up or interfered with (they called it robust).

    The only downside to this application is that it’s currently being developed only for the iPhone. However, the demonstrator in the YouTube video stated that this application could easily be adapted to several platforms. If his statement is true, I look forward to using this tool very soon.

    I agree that this tool could be an important resource in education. Imagine if students could use this tool to identify works of art (including sculpture, paintings, graphic design prints, etc.) or to identify books they need for their classes. As this technology continues to evolve (get smarter), the possibilities of use in education will surely increase.

    In conclusion, this tool seems like it would be very easy to use. In fact, I think people of all ages (from young children to the elderly) could learn how to use this technology. This application is as easy as the click of a camera. I will be interested to track Visual Search’s adaption into our culture. I think this tool has the potential to revolutionize the way we search for and purchase products.

  2. 郁茹 says:

    我也是使用Android系統的手機,我的手機目前只用過QR code搜尋,以及透過聲音搜尋而能確定這首音樂的歌名及資訊,而這個系統目前只有iphone有,所以沒辦法看到這樣的功能,不過從影片中的示範,真的大開眼界。我記得以前資訊課程必須先教會學生如何「搜尋」,包括關鍵字及進階限制功能,才能在大量的搜尋結果中找到我們要的資訊,然而現在已經是可以透過圖片、聲音準確搜尋後,進一步找到更多的資訊,包括內容及購物等。
    這項技術應用在教育上,教學不再只是強調古板的分類,而是可以放在很精細的思考上,例如野外動植物觀察,老師不再只是說明分類形態等,而是請學生在找到的所有資料中進行分析,如此一來,學生不只知道物種分類,甚至可以講出更多內容,包括生長情況、後續的應用等等,這樣的課程應該會非常精彩!而去到博物館,也不用再租借解說員或機器,只要一台手機拍一下,立刻就能清楚知道該作品的來龍去脈。

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