John Gartner at Wired News takes an interesting look at the future of image searching in the article: Search Looks at the Big Picture.
Chris is quoted about how future image search technology (the ability to search "inside" an image versus searching words surrounding an image) might be a "lucrative" way for advertisers to reach consumers.
Gartner goes on to discuss research that Xerox is doing in Europe that can find can recognize everyday objects in digital images. He also touches on the Marvel project at IBM to auto categorize images from video. More about Marvel and video searching in this SEW blog post from September.
On a related note, those of you with an interest in image search might like to read about and look at some image recognition technology from LTU Technologies.
1) A live demo (Image-Seeker) that searches a database of about 65,000 royalty-free images from Corbis. First, keyword search on tags from the Corbis controlled vocabulary, then find related images based on composition of image.
Three Presentations from the Search Engine Meeting
2) Organising personal pictures with content analysis technology
3) Focusing on the Image-Seeker database
4) Making Sense of Visual Content