The app uses IQ Engine's VisionIQ, an image recognition platform that powers many assistive technology products and mobile apps for the blind and visually impaired, including VizWiz.
Many companies are also using VisionIQ for "visual brand engagement" -- marketing that encourages consumers to interact with product and logo images using mobile devices.
With oMoby, you point your camera at a product and click a photo. Results of the ensuing web search might contain coupons or special offers.
oMoby Visual Search App Features
- Visual product searching
- Automated image recognition
- Scans most bar codes, including: QR Codes, Data Matrix, Code 128, UPC E, UPC A, EAN 8 and EAN 13
- Displays multiple results in order by strength of match to reduce false positives
- Combines computer vision with human "crowdsourcing"
- Facebook and Twitter links for sharing search results
- Real-time "learning engine" improves searches the more it's used.
Downloading and Using oMoby
oMoby is a free app you can download from the Apple's App Store or, for Android devices, Google Play.
Android users need version 2.2 or higher.
To use oMoby, snap a photo of a product or scan a bar code.
For products, fill the entire screen with the image and include the whole product. Also make sure the product is well lit and free from glare and shadows.
For bar codes, just hold the camera over it, make sure the entire code is in the frame and in focus, and wait till you hear a beep, i.e. there's nothing to snap.
Note: Just as with bar codes, visual recognition is now immediate on some products. To test this, point the camera at a Starbucks or other popular logo and see what happens.
oMoby will search the web and return options for product information using a combination of computer vision and crowdsourcing (a pool of real people on the Internet). The app has a real-time learning engine that becomes more comprehensive as it's used.
oMoby's image recognizes algorithm can detect multiple objects in the camera’s viewfinder simultaneously with a single scan. This enables users to run visual searches on multiple objects and get results on all of them. The app also saves your search history for future reference.
About IQ Engines and VisionIQ
The app's creator, IQ Engines, specializes in image recognition technology. Its customers, including retailers, media companies and mobile app developers, use its VisionIQ imaging platform to add visual search to applications.
In terms of assistive technology, VisionIQ can help blind and visually impaired persons identify objects they encounter in everyday life, track items they own, or navigate complex environments.
One example is VizWiz. This iOS app lets blind users snap pictures on their smart phone and ask questions aloud. Answers from various online resources are returned, usually in less than a minute, which users hear via VoiceOver, a built-in screen reader.
Another is the i.d. mate Quest from En-Vision America -- makers of the ScripTalk Reader and the i.d. mate OMNI -- an "all-in-one" talking bar code scanner that also identifies currency and and provides object recognition.