Riya Search Tool Offers Image Queries

Posted on November 20, 2006

Like is a new search tool from Riya Inc. that allows people to query via text and images. TechCrunch calls it the first visual search engine and explains how Riya can be used to find products. One use of Like is to shop for items that are similar to what a celebrity is wearing such as Miriah Carey's boots or Paris Hilton's ring.

The Like.com engine takes both text and images as queries, something no one else does. To return results based on an image query, Like.com compares a "visual signature" for the query image to possible results. The visual signature is simply a mathematical representatioin of the image using 10,000 variables. If enough variables are identical, Like.com decides the images are similar.

What this means - If you see an image on the web, like a watch that Paris Hilton is wearing in the picture to the left, and use it as an image query, Like.com will return results showing watches that look very similar.

If you enter a text query, like "brown boots pointed toe," Like.com will convert that query into variables in the visual signature and look for related image results. See screen shot below for the results from this query.

You can see an example here that lets you search for products that are similar to what Paris is seen wearing in several photos. The results are products that resemble what Paris is wearing. You can then adjust the results by shape, color and pattern.

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