How Google Visual Search Will Make Google Money

By Clint Boulton  |  Posted 2009-12-04 Print this article Print

"Just taking another snapshot from within the VMS client application is all you have to do in order to retrieve travel guide information. In this case location information is available through triangulation or inbuilt GPS it can assist the recognition process. Inside the coffeehouse you study the menu but your French happens to be a bit rusty. Your image based search engine supports you in translating words from the menu so that you have at least an idea of what you can order."

Of course, those services can be paired with mobile advertising, as Neven noted in his patent app:

"Visual advertising content may be displayed on a digital billboard or large television screen. A user may take of picture of the billboard and the displayed advertisement to get additional information about the advertised product, enter a contest, etc. The effectiveness of the advertisement can be measured in real time by counting the number of "clicks" the advertisement generates from camera phone users. The content of the advertisement may be adjusted to increase its effectiveness based on the click rate.

The billboard may provide time sensitive advertisements that are target to passing camera phone users such as factory workers arriving leaving work, parents picking up kids from school, or the like. The real-time click rate of the targeted billboard advertisements may confirm or refute assumptions used to generate the targeted advertisement."

Pairing digital ads, possibly from Google's AdMob acquisition, is a natural way to make money from Visual Search. Many people take pictures from their increasingly improving smartphone camera daily, but imagine if those users could leverage the images as search tools instead of simply fun pictures to look at.

Then imagine if a user snapped a snapped a picture of a clothing garment through a storefront window on the street, and imagine if the Visual Search retrieved information about that item without entering the store.

This would save users a considerable amount of time, and if Google then allows users to purchase that clothing item through Google Checkout linked to the retailer, it becomes a powerful e-commerce value proposition.

This technology will eventually be coming to Android phones. Neven didn't tell Bartiromo how soon or whether the app would also be available for Apple's iPhone or other smartphone platforms.

Meanwhile, visual search recognition apps, such as ViPR from Evolution Robotics, are being offered for the iPhone, so Google has some competition when it decides to release Google Visual Search. 


Submit a Comment

Loading Comments...
Manage your Newsletters: Login   Register My Newsletters

Rocket Fuel