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Pinterest will let people use its image-recognizing Lens feature to augment text searches

A year after debut­ing Lens, Pin­ter­est records more than 600M visu­al search­es from peo­ple each month.

A year after its debut, Pinterest’s Lens fea­ture has become so capa­ble of pars­ing what an image con­tains and what a per­son is search­ing for that the com­pa­ny will now use it to sup­port text-based search­es.

Start­ing next week, peo­ple will be able to attach images to tex­tu­al search queries on Pin­ter­est to have Lens aid in find­ing what they are look­ing for, the com­pa­ny announced on Thurs­day. The new option will first roll out to Pinterest’s iOS app and will even­tu­al­ly make its way to the Android ver­sion.

The idea is that the images will serve as an addi­tion­al para­me­ter for a search to bet­ter mim­ic how peo­ple might seek things out in the real world. Con­sid­er how you might walk into a fur­ni­ture store look­ing for a liv­ing room rug and show the sales­per­son a pho­to of your couch and cof­fee table to help pin­point a match. Or how you might be at the gro­cery store shop­ping for sal­sa ingre­di­ents, see an odd-but-invit­ing type of pep­per and ask an employ­ee what oth­er sal­sa ingre­di­ents it would com­ple­ment. Now you’ll be able to put those ques­tions to Pin­ter­est.

The com­bi­na­tion of visu­al and text search should also help Pin­ter­est refine its visu­al search results. The text queries can be used to aug­ment Pinterest’s com­put­er vision technology’s under­stand­ing of what an image con­tains and to estab­lish new rela­tion­ships between the objects the tech­nol­o­gy is famil­iar with and oth­er things or uses it may not yet be aware of.

Of course, Pinterest’s abil­i­ty to parse images is already improv­ing as its vol­ume of visu­al search­es increas­es. Every month, peo­ple con­duct more than 600 mil­lion visu­al search­es using Lens, Pin­ter­est’s image-pars­ing brows­er exten­sions and its visu­al search with­in pins fea­ture. As a result, Pinterest’s com­put­er vision tech­nol­o­gy can rec­og­nize more than five times as many items as it did a year ago, includ­ing recipe ingre­di­ents and cloth­ing styles.

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By | 2018-02-19T11:03:55+00:00 February 19th, 2018|Industry News|Comments Off on Pinterest will let people use its image-recognizing Lens feature to augment text searches