Offers Visual Fashion Search Search For Misha Barton's Earrings

Image search company Riya has applied its matching technology to a new
fashion shopping site called Like. The idea
is that you if you find a fashion item you like — a particular handbag, pair of
shoes, watch or jewelry — the search engine will find related products by
examining the actual image. You can keyword search, browse products or browse
items worn by celebrities to get matches.

I love watches, so I gave it a spin. In particular, I have a large collection
of Swatches. So, I started off to see what
would bring back. I got plenty of matches, and a "Hawaii" swatch on the first
page caught my eye. Image Matching Interface

Clicking on it brought up a

new page
, allowing me to pick what I liked the most about it in degrees
using sliders, for these criteria:

  • Color
  • Shape
  • Pattern

It was the pattern more than anything else, so I kicked that slider up. The
results changed, bringing up mainly heart monitoring watches first. Not what I

Next I tried browse mode. I was able to drill into the

analog round
matches, but none of these were to my fancy.

Now it was time for what’s clearly the hype factor — search for something
that a celebrity is wearing. The gallery
has only two men, and while I have little in common with either Diddy or Brad
Pitt, I went the Brad route. One shot
of him was when he was wearing a watch, so I clicked on that.


came up with watches similar to what he had. Was this image matching
magic? Preset examples always make me wary — they typically have been refined
and fine-tuned. Even if not, I don’t know that I need image matching technology
to easily find watches like he was wearing. Here —
like those worn by Cameron Diaz, no image search required.

The real test will be when, as Somewhat Frank
you’ll be able to upload images of your own and do searches. Or, you can play
with searches of the many existing images and see how it goes. I wasn’t blown
away by it, but I only did the few queries above. Another product, another
search, perhaps it would be great. It’s certainly worth trying and keeping in

Riya’s Is First True Visual Image Search
at TechCrunch talks about
the background, the idea that Riya is a leading company trying to match images
based on images, rather than words. Riya’s received lots of attention over the
past year for its technology, but it’s notable that so far, the company doesn’t
seem to have had much financial success. This type of matching is the third
direction it has now gone in.

First, Riya seemed targeted to help you upload photos of people and do face
recognition to find others. Then Google was
rumored to be
interested, though that

never went through
. Google
later acquired
another image recognition company, Neven Vision.

shifted to
being a web image search service, which remains running at The current focus on fashion
products is tied to where Riya says users were most interested. ZDNet has
more on this. You can also
check out CEO Munjal Shah’s blog for

Need another review? The Wall Street Journal takes a look for paid
subscribers in
Where to Find a Famous Look
and seems mostly happy.

Like the idea? Here are some reports of shopping search engines with matching
features you might like:

Postscript: Pixsta tips me off to Chez Imelda, where they power visual shoe search. Gary Price also has a list of other visual search services here.

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