From birth, babies begin exploring the world around them through their eyes. They see, they interact, they learn. Technology is just catching up with the ability to effectively recognize images and respond to what is seen. Visual search technology is being integrated with a wave of new apps to improve the way you do just about anything. Here’s a look at 5 ways visual search is changing everyday life.

1. Television

A commercial comes on TV advertising a buy one get one free pizza deal from Pizza Hut. You point your smartphone camera at the screen, it recognizes the ad, and you are asked if you’d like to place an order. You confirm the purchase and the pizza is delivered to your door within 20 minutes. You don’t even have to get off the couch until the delivery shows up.

2. Fashion

While waiting at the bus stop you notice the person next to you has on a jacket that you like. You subtly point your phone at them while an app identifies the jacket, where it’s sold, and how much it costs. If you want you can order it now, but instead you decide it costs too much. After clicking on similar items you see a jacket that looks the same for half the price. You place and confirm your order and get it delivered to you the next day.

3. Movies

Outside the movie theater are posters for all the movies that are showing. You’re curious about one that you’ve never heard of before. You point your phone at the poster and it comes up with the preview, critics rating, and reviews of the film. You purchase tickets from your phone and walk into the theater.

4. Travel

A popular summer trip is to backpack through Europe. There is so much to see. All around Europe there are random, old, impressive looking buildings! Sometimes you’ll be out walking and stumble onto what appears to be an important site. Rather than be frustrated at not knowing what you are looking at, with visual search you can just point your smartphone at whatever it is you’re looking at and instantly get the name, a short history, admission fees, hours, and anything else you could want to know about it. Don’t have an internet connection at the time? No worries, your app works offline.


5. Museums

It works indoors as well. When visiting a museum you can easily be overwhelmed at all the items on display. For example, it is said that if you were to spend 4 seconds on each item in the Louvre in Paris it would take you three full days to see everything there. With visual search a trip to the museum can become much more interesting. When you see something you’re curious about you can immediately get a summary of what it is, where it’s from, and how it’s placed in history. Pretty awesome.

The possibilities with visual search are endless. Viscovery, a Taiwan-based visual search startup, is turning things like this into a reality.

Leave your own ideas for the potential of visual search on our twitter! @Viscovery