ActiveSymbols’ Eyealike visual search launches in beta today, allowing you to find dates that look like someone else you find attractive — the person that dumped you last year, your favorite coworker, or America’s Next Top Model, for example. If you’re not in the market for someone new, you can discover your celebrity lookalike, but you could already do that with MyHeritage face recognition.
Fortunately, the technology that ActiveSymbols has built is not just about dating and celebrity face recognition. Their visual search engine will allow companies with stores of image-based content to index, filter and manage that content while providing end users with image search using picture “keywords” instead of text.
The possibility of searching images and video collections using images rather than textual descriptions as search terms will allow for better indexing of photo and video content. It could also provide a way for copyright holders to automatically look for copyright violations.
ActiveSymbols is not the only visual search and facial recognition startup. Viewdle recognizes appearances of people in videos, while Riya has created a visual shopping search engine called Like so you can find a shirt just like the one Britney’s wearing. There were rumors in 2005 that Google might acquire Riya. In August of 2006, Google did in fact buy an image search company, Neven Vision.
Eyealike’s capabilities — face search, image detection, and video copyright surveillance — will be available in a hosted version or as licensed software to be installed on Windows or Linux servers. It’s aimed at companies with image-based content in need of indexing, filtering, managing, and (of course) monetizing.