The Rise of the Visual Search Engine

Search engines are plentiful, and every search provider is doing their best to provide people the most convenient way to search for anything they want. With the advent of smartphone cameras, visual and image searching has been developing by leaps and bounds. People want to know what they’re looking at, and they want to know how to get it. Visual searches are great for people want to compare products at stores or look up details about a historical monument.

Currently, there are two ways to search for an image, either by uploading an old image or by taking a picture of it. When searching with a picture, image search engines only find what’s visually similar. This means the result could have the same shape and color, but could be a completely different object. Another method engines use to search a visual detail are the metatags attached to the image. Every picture has metatags in them that detail a keyword, location or even a name. Although, this tends to be lackluster as well.

The other method, taking a picture, has improved visual search technology within the past few years. Since pictures taken with phones are brand new, they have no prior image on the internet nor do they have the appropriate metatags. So instead, smartphones upload the image to a central database where it’s scrutinized until it comes close to a match, similar to the other method. This involves matching the new picture with numerous pictures already on the net, and thus results may vary.

With this growing technology, visual search is improving everyday to be more helpful to people. Slyce, a company that’s spearheading the technology, is an example of that. Slyce aims to develop advanced image recognition technology, so that consumers are able to find what they want. Technology is all about convenience, and Slyce brings that convenience to everyone. Slyce improves the technology by having the image stream to the database where it’s recognized multiple times to provide better accuracy.

With all that in mind, visual searching is growing at an alarming rate, and people will benefit the most from it. Download some apps onto your smartphone to see how visual search can help you.

Preschool in Nursing Home to be Featured in Documentary

A Seattle preschool called the Intergenerational Learning Center has a great reputation and incredible teachers, making it a top choice for parents in the area. But the preschool also has a unique element, one which is now being highlighted in a film called “Present Perfect”.

The facility which the preschool is inside of also houses several hundred elderly residents. It’s a senior care center called Providence Mount St. Vincent. And for five days every week, the seniors and the children interact in a variety of ways, from just visiting to doing crafts or charity work together.

Over the school year of 2012 and 2013, filmmaker Evan Briggs took it upon herself to film the preschool, using her own money and time to do so. During this time she captured many incredible scenes of the interaction between the young and the elderly, “sweet, some awkward, some funny — all of them poignant and heartbreakingly real.” Her Kickstarter campaign, which will fund the editing of the movie, has already surpassed the $50,000 goal, and still has two weeks left for people to continue contributing to the effort. Dr. Jennifer Walden is excited to see the progress of such an inspiring effort to reduce depression among the elderly.

Her hope is that the film will inspire others to do the same on a larger scale, as she stated, “Shooting this film and embedding myself in the nursing home environment also allowed me to see with new eyes just how generationally segregated we’ve become as a society. And getting to know so many of the amazing residents of the Mount really highlighted the tremendous loss this is for us all… [The preschool is] a great example of how we integrate the elderly into society.”