Have you ever tried to figure out who someone was, or what something is? Modern day search engines, as great as they are, come up short if you have no idea what it is you are actually searching for. This is where visual search comes in: You can snap a photo of a person or thing, and the app (in theory) tells you what or who it is and provides relevant links to information about that person, place, or thing.
Two free apps, CamFind and Blippar, claim to be your best option for visual search. In a recent video the two apps were put to the ultimate 2016 test: Could they identify Donald Trump from a picture and tell the user about him?
It must be pointed out that CamFind representatives uploaded the video performed the test, so take note of that when you see how the test pans out. That said, the results are interesting, with CamFind being able to accurately identify Donald Trump and provide the user with relevant information about him. Blippar appeared to struggle with the test, although it did recognize the presidential candidate’s trademark hairstyle.
This sort of search technology can be incredibly handy when you don’t know who or what you are searching for. The technology still has a long way to go before you start using it over traditional text-based search engines like Google, but in specific situations where you can take a picture of whatever it is you are trying to identify or learn about, this is at least worth trying. Note that Google also has computer vision-based image-based search.
For what it is worth, we did some quick testing with the apps on our own and the results were similar to what happened in this CamFind comparison. We generally found CamFind to be very accurate, even with items we thought would be fairly difficult. Blippar, on the other hand, seemed much less accurate and took longer to show information it thought was relevant to your search.
Don’t take this as gospel, though. We would need to spend some time on a full comparison and review of these apps before we could conclusively say which is more effective. But as far as corroborating the results of this CamFind comparison video, our test appeared to suggest their video accurately portrayed the two apps.
Be careful if you download them, since visual search can be addictive and you may find yourself wasting hours trying to stump the app.