The basic idea behind a visual search is that , a person would take a picture of text/image that appears on an object with their phone, and then have the application return information to them about that.
This looks very interesting. So i will keep updating this page with new players and patents in this area
" Mobot has developed a powerful, scalable, and flexible patent-pending solution which relies on image recovery, pattern recognition, and image matching capability 'in the cloud.' Cognitive science research has shown that the human brain uses blobs to recognize objects, that is, your brain does not use sharp edges to determine that a table is a table or a face is face. Mobot applies algorithms patterned after these methods to solve the problem of mobile visual search. Mobot has built a best in class solution through a combination of invention, innovation, and tech licensing. Mobot has strong technology partnerships with leading edge companies. For example, Imagen's technology and Evolution Robotics' ViPR technology are components of Mobot's visual search engine and help Mobot deliver state of the art pattern recognition. "
"Riya is a new kind of visual search engine. We look inside the image, not only at the text around it. Use Riya to: Find similar faces and objects on many images across the web, Refine the results, using color, shape and texture.Riya also has a personal search service that does face and text recognition in your photos. You can use our face and text recognition technology to train the system to recognize the main characters in the story of your life, Share photos with friends and family."
"DSPV has developed unique, patented server-side technology that provides a full camera-based visual search and retrieval solution. The mobile phone's camera is used to select an object of interest (advertisement, photo, commercial logo, URL etc.) and the relevant content is retrieved. Effectively any visual object appearing in print or displayed on a computer/TV screen can thus serve as a "banner" which can be linked to mobile content, where picture-taking replaces the ubiquitous "mouse click". Specifically designed to avoid software installation or modifications to the phones, the visual search engine works on MMS photos and 3G video-calls. On 3G handsets, the video-call mobile search provides a natural extension to present day interactive voice response (IVR)."
The site is still accessible only by invitation. Read the interview with founder Kumar Gopalakrishnan here
"Users can access information from websites, reference books, online stores, news sources and more through the service. Users access relevant information by capturing text printed on any object such as a book, sign board, product and so on with the nThrum application installed onto their camera phone."
riya patent application
Method and system for providing information services relevant to visual imagery