ActiveSymbols, freshly spun out of IT infrastructure provider Logicalis, launched a platform Nov. 12 to give users of sites such as Facebook and MySpace a better shot at finding who they are looking for by searching online pictures.
Most socially oriented sites use proprietary search engines to help their users find other users by pinpointing keywords in captions. Often, the returned images do not always match up with the keyword queries.
The Eyealike VS (Visual Search) platform analyzes digital images and videos to let users find who they are looking for.
Eyealike VS eschews searching the alphanumeric data to boost the speed and accuracy of search results for users trying to sift through a ton of digital media, said ActiveSymbols President Greg Heuss.
"Text-based search isnt going away any time soon, but we no longer live in a world where it will suffice," Heuss told eWEEK.
The software is a departure from and a challenger to proprietary search platforms, as well as software from consumer search vendors such as Google and Yahoo and enterprise search specialists such as Autonomy and Fast.
These sites have succeeded by rendering content searchable via keywords; Google and Yahoo in particular have overhauled their search algorithms in recent months to improve visual searches.
But even these more universal search approaches are insufficient because they largely depend on text-based models that rely on hyperlinks, tags, metadata and page formatting to deliver results. Heuss said these approaches will not scale as more photos, videos, and other forms of rich media find their way online.
ActiveSymbols joins Blinkx as a search provider dedicated to going beyond traditional text search. Blinkx lets users search for thousands of Web videos.
Blinkx lets consumers cash in. Click here to read more.
Heuss said ActiveSymbols isnt suggesting users need to replace their current search infrastructure; the platform complements existing Web site keyword search systems.
The Eyealike VS platform includes the Eyealike Face Search, Eyealike Image Detection and Eyealike Video Copyright Surveillance modules. The latter two products are currently being privately beta tested and more information will be available about them later.
Eyealike Face Search, which is being publicly beta tested now, is currently boosting search methods for online dating sites such as Match.com and Americansingles.com.
Instead of searching for users with tag words such as blond hair and blue eyes, the Face Search algorithm takes a "Mr. Potato Head" approach, breaking down a face by its various attributes, including skin tone, eyes, hair color, texture and length. Beta participants can upload their photo and see which celebrity they look like, as well as dating prospects who look like popular celebrities.
Heuss dubbed the online dating vertical the "low-hanging fruit" for ActiveSymbols, and he said he expects the Face Search software to be used in other vertical markets, including government agencies.
Eyealike VS platform modules will be available on demand or as licensed software. The software is also compatible with any Windows or Linux server, and it will work on Windows and Mac computers and mobile and smart phones.
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