In the 21st century, an enormous amount of data is available to retailers about the spending habits and patterns of consumers, but most of that information surrounds the purchase itself. If shoppers log into an online retail site, retailers can track what they are looking at, but what they don’t know is what people are looking for and looking at offline, and that is something of the holy grail of information tracking technology.
Very soon, this holy grail of data may be well within the reach of retailers, as the next gen of product recognition and visual search technology is about to be unveiled. One leader in this industry is Slyce, a Toronto based start up that garnered more than $10 million in start up capital to develop their exciting new tech product. Slyce visual search technology takes apps like Amazon’s Flow to a whole new level. Previous visual search technology was highly dependent on packaging and branding to deliver a search result, which meant if you were walking down the street and saw a product in use – and therefore without packaging – or someone wearing an article of clothing you really liked, you were generally out of luck unless the person could give you specific information about the manufacturer and/ or store where they bought it.
Slyce is about to revolutionize not only the way people shop, but also give retailers key insights into how people become interested in a product in the first place. Are they legitimately being influenced by billboards, magazines, flyers or print ads, or are they mostly influenced by people they see using or wearing a certain product? Slyce’s sophisticated product recognition algorithm allows their visual search engine to instantaneously gather a massive amount of minute information that differentiates one shirt or one pair of shoes from more than a million others. It can determine details like how many buttons on a shirt and the precise distance between each one or the exact width of a sole in relationship to the distance between the top of the heel and the bottom of the sole. It then matches that information against millions of images to create an exact match to the exact product.
Beyond that, however, Slyce can also offer the closest match a retailer offers if the product they are looking for is discontinued or out-of-stock. In addition, Slyce offers retailers 1D, 2D and 3D scans, meaning users can find information from 3D images, such as a person wearing a particular item, from 2D printed materials or product tags, such as magazine ads or billboards, or they can instigate a 1D search by scanning barcodes, QR codes or coupons that will take them directly the the information they are looking for.