Sunday, May 03, 2009

Search using a pic. Can I?

Guess who's this guy? Tip: The guy who changed the face of Social Networking on TwitpicThe other day @sampad posted a fun challenge on Twitter to guess the person on the pic he posted on twitpic. I looked at the pic but didnt know who he was. The first thing I wanted to do was to ask Google by giving the picture as the search query which unfortunately was not possible. However I kinda guessed that he was some online personality and searched Google images with terms facebook, twitter etc. Ultimately the guy turned out to be Chris Hughes, the co founder of Facebook, but it was found only after a lot of googling based on the hints given out by @sampad.

The incident made me think; once again... :P

What if Google had a feature in 'Image Search' where I could upload a pic for Google to find content on the pic and give me results based on that? It would be fantastic. I'm sure that Google can do it, coz it already has Similar Images Search in the labs, which shows other images that look like the one which showed up as a result of an image search using keywords. Similarly Google has to just accept my pic via upload and then do a search in their database to find similar images which are appropriately tagged to know who/what the person/object is on the picture. Then it can show me results on the person/object it found out; not only image results but also other web results like a normal Google search. In Chris's case it would give me this page as a result of my "fundoo image search".

I know this is not far away. Oh btw it would not only work for famous personalities or landmarks, but also for your lesser known friends and relatives; remember all those image tagging you did in Picasa web albums? Google knows them all.

5 comments:

Raj said...

You may want to check this out.

http://labs.systemone.at/retrievr/

Umesh said...

@raj i checked it using the same picture i have posted with this story. It showed some arbit images from flickr which has no connection with the picture i uploaded. Or am i missing something here?

Also i was talking about a proper web search using the image as the search query. Not only image search via pic upload. There are tools like this which is used for similar product search etc. I'm not asking for that.

Nicky said...

Another interesting search engine a friend told me about: http://www.midomi.com/

I've always had this problem - that I'd have a tune in my head - Probably something I heard somewhere and needed to know more...

All I would do is ask people by humming the tune to them and wish I had some place to search.

This place does exactly this - All I have to do is hum or whistle to them and they tell me the track's name :)

I'm not going to write too much about it bcoz I haven't tried it out myself yet - but that fact that searches have become so elusive is great to know :)

Umesh said...

@Nicky Wow that one was phenomenal. If you have no help available to solve your problem then its probably the start of a new idea. If you have an idea then technology is not a constraint. As you said search should not be only by a text string, but with anything possible.

Umesh said...

Of course there is google voice search which converts my voice into text search query