Visual Search

Not that we need a new search engine, but I tried out a new way of searching called Viewzi. It offers a variety of ways of viewing your search results.

You start in the usual way - type in a keyword or term. I tried a vanity search on "Ronkowitz." I'm not the only one out there, but I have a good share of the web traffic, if only because of my blogs and sites. Then, you select how you want to view the results. I chose first a Thumbnails View which shows me the results in small screenshots of the sites found. Even if I choose the Simple Text View, you see a small visual of the page, the Alexa rank of the page and what search engines found the pages. The 3D Cloud View actually floated pictures of me around, but the Celebrity Photo View came up empty - so much for fame from blogging. (I also don't show up in the recipe, or weather views.)

I also ended up finding some items that I guess I haven't noticed in other searches or that I had forgotten were out there. I suspect that changing the way you view search results actually has an effect on what we see on that screen beyond the literal sense of viewing. (Note: topic for paper) I rediscovered that I have a Dipity site that I never bookmarked. I found out that the blog for the portfolio tool called Digication (which we are actually looking at for PCCC) once posted about my review of Digication and other similar tools on Serendipity35.

Viewzi does pull in results from search engines like Google and Yahoo, so you are really adding another level to your search. The creators have coined the term "smashup" (as in "search+mashup") to describe what they are doing.

This idea of visual search is not brand new. Last year, I had looked at which also gives you visual results, but only one view. Viewzi has more views today than it had in its beta version that I looked at earlier and I suspect it will continue to add new viewing options.

I believe that technically Viewzi is not a "visual search engine" which is really a search engine designed to search for information on the Web by the input of an image. For example, you input a photo of a building and it searches for the location or name of the building. This type of search engine is sometimes used to search on the mobile Internet.

I did a bit of searching and turned up a site called kooaba which is being developed to allow you to access and search for digital content from your mobile phone. The kooaba engine currently allows you to search for information about movies advertised on posters. For instant access to movie information, you take a picture of any movie poster on a billboard, in a newspaper or magazine, and send it to kooaba (by MMS, e-mail or using the kooaba client). You will be immediately pointed to the correct page on their mobile movie portal, which offers you trailer downloads, reviews, blog-posts, merchandise etc. Currently this service is available in Switzerland but will be expanded to other countries in the coming weeks and they plan to add new types of objects soon. (Check out the demo on how to use kooaba.)

It's a bit spooky to think that some day soon you might be able to take a photo of me (or a statue or car or whatever) with your phone, submit it to a service, and get back search results without really knowing what you were searching for in the first place.


Trackback specific URI for this entry


Display comments as Linear | Threaded

No comments

Add Comment

Enclosing asterisks marks text as bold (*word*), underscore are made via _word_.
Standard emoticons like :-) and ;-) are converted to images.
BBCode format allowed
E-Mail addresses will not be displayed and will only be used for E-Mail notifications.
To leave a comment you must approve it via e-mail, which will be sent to your address after submission.

To prevent automated Bots from commentspamming, please enter the string you see in the image below in the appropriate input box. Your comment will only be submitted if the strings match. Please ensure that your browser supports and accepts cookies, or your comment cannot be verified correctly.