Startup creates a biologically inspired picture search engine

June 21, 2011 by Katie Gatto, Phys.org weblog

(PhysOrg.com) -- We all like to get the best deal possible for the things that we buy but you do not always have the time to go from shop to shop in order to find what you want. Luckily, there is a search tool that can help you to that without using the extra gas. This search tool is a bit different than simply using Google to find the prices. It begins by taking a picture of the item in question. Once your phone takes its snapshot it will begin to look for the item and then give you a look at the prices that you can get in local shops or on the web. This is similar to the bar code scanning applications that are currently on the market only it works with a standard cell-phone photos.

The search technology was developed by Cortexica, a startup that was created based on research conducted at the Imperial College in London. The technology that the company developed has already allowed users to make an app that can compare wines, known as WINEfindr. Since then Cortexica has release an that will allow for the creation of similar apps based on the .

The Cortexica's VisualSearch platform is inspired by . This gives it the ability to compensate for a variety of different and identify key features of an object, without needing it to be a specific size or facing a specific angle. It is also possible, in some cases to identify objects while they are on the go. Don't try it with a sports car, but you can probably get the can that someone is dropping in their cart.

Recently, Cortexica released its VisualSearch Application-Programming Interface (API) for the technology. The API will allow others to build similar apps.

Explore further: Hitachi Releases Facebook Application of Similar Image Search Engine 'Gazopa'

More information: www.cortexica.com/index.html

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