The tech world never fails to amaze and surprise! Asos has recently launched its search-by-photo function on its latest iOS app update. The update will allow the iOS users to take a photo of a fashion piece or accessory with their camera and upload in an existing outfit picture or screenshot from Instagram from their device’s camera roll. The Asos app will then show them items that are similar to whatever they are trying to find.
Asos has also reported that this feature will be available on their Android app soon! So to all the Android users, have no fear, just patients.
The company has said that 80% of UK traffic for ASOS comes from mobile devices, so does almost 70% of UK orders. It is also reported that each user spends at least 80 minutes per month on average in the app.
Asos has tested the feature on a few fashion pieces the company carries and has reported that it works well. The company has also said that the function will not necessarily find a perfect match. As there are only 85,000 searchable products in Asos’ index. However, the function will at least pull up a product similar sorts of patterns to the picture the customer has uploaded. So the customer will end up with the same fashion feel.
With this new addition to the app, Asos aims to drive sales of its stock by greasing the clothes discovery pipeline (searching using text can sometimes be quite tedious). It is also to encourage a bit of serendipity in the shopping experience. Asos has been around since 2000 and has been a long time player in the ecommerce space.
Over the past 5 years or so, there have been quite a number of startups who have tried to build fast and convenient visual search engines. They often target the fashion industry.
There are many tech platforms who have also recently started showing more interest to visual search too. They see a potential to combine the vast quantity of visual data they hold with recent developments in deep learning/AI technology that is helping realize the potential of computer version.
Pinterest has recently launched a camera-based feature that can turn a real world object (e.g a mug) into Pinterest results (e.g a cup of coffee). Another example is eBay, the ecommerce platform also has its own ecommerce- focused image search in the works due to launch this fall. Isn’t that cool? At this rate we won’t be needing keyboards anymore soon.
Article originally by TechCrunch on the 10th August 2017. Written by Natasha Lomas.