The object recognition market is expected to reach approximately $38.9 billion by 2021 and there is a valid reason for that. The technology brings many benefits to the companies and helps them deliver better experience and service to the users.
As the name implies, object recognition detects and identifies objects on the images. This opens many opportunities for businesses: from enhanced surveillance to better customer experience in retail.
In this article, we have collected the most interesting cases of using object recognition for business growth. Whether you are already thinking about implementing the technology in your processes or simply wish to learn more, you will find some interesting ideas below.
A quick intro to object recognition
Object recognition is a subset of computer vision. Computer vision, in its turn, is the “science and technology of machines that see”, as Science Daily puts it. In simpler words, computer vision is aimed at teaching machines “to see” and obtain information from what they can see and recognize.
The process of object recognition seems quite simple: a computer breaks down the photo into pixels and recognizes a certain pattern of shapes that helps identify the object. But it’s not that simple in terms of technology: object recognition is closely related to Machine Learning and Deep Learning.
The secret of successful image recognition is the amount and quality of the data, which is “fed” to the ML model. The more data it has, the better and faster it will learn from it, delivering accurate results. One of the most popular tools for image classification projects is an open-source library TensorFlow by Google.
Now, the most obvious and popular example of using object recognition technology is tagging friends on Facebook. But there is much more to object recognition technology than entertainment purposes only.
The benefits of object recognition for the businesses
Object recognition can be used in various industries and there is basically no restriction to the way you use it – it all depends on the possible value the technology can bring to the customers.
The first and the most promising application of object recognition in e-commerce is image search. Alongside voice search, the image search feature is considered one of the hottest trends in e-commerce as it brings brand-new opportunities for the customers. With an image search, shoppers can find the desired product in a faster and easier manner and it will be exactly what they need.
One of the best examples of using image search in e-commerce is Pinterest Lens. This shopping feature lets the users either upload a picture to the platform or take a photo with a camera of their mobile device. The system will then process the image and suggest related products or similar ones.
The next benefit of image recognition in e-commerce is product recommendation aka upselling or cross-selling. When the system identifies an image, it can independently suggest related products to the users, thus, increasing the chances for successful purchase completion.
And don’t forget the combination of image recognition and AR technology that helps customers “try” the products from their smartphone screen. One of the examples is a Wanna Kicks app that lets the users “try on” the shoes by opening a mobile device camera and pointing it at their leg. The system would then recognize the user’s foot and “put” a shoe on it, showing how the product would look on you. And that’s a really important benefit, considering the fact that users cannot touch and feel the products from an e-commerce store (unlike in physical stores).
Image recognition is widely used in surveillance to detect trespassers or any suspicious activity with the surveillance cameras. As well, image recognition helps identify suspicious objects (like bags), vehicles, and even the type of weapon a person may carry.
All that contributes to security a lot, both on personal and public levels. As for the businesses, you can use the object recognition technology to identify any suspicious activity within the area of your company and get an immediate notification about it.
One of the most important areas for using object recognition in medicine is scanning of MRIs and CT scans with the aim to identify a disease or its early symptoms. In this way, medical specialists will be able to take timely action and prevent the disease’s development at an early stage. Check out this AR microscope for cancer detection as an example.
Image recognition is also used in microsurgical procedures that are performed by robots, which increases its accuracy and assists surgeons a lot.
Self-driving cars are nothing new but there are still many issues related to this trend, with the primary one being safety. Autonomous cars need to react fast enough to avoid any dangerous situations and that’s where image recognition steps in and helps resolve the issue.
Of course, there is much more to self-driving cars than object recognition only but this technology is one of the primary factors for the safe journey.
Object recognition is among the technologies that shape-shift modern business development and set its direction. If approached carefully, the implementation of object recognition to your business processes may instantly leverage its performance and boost customer experience. However, you need to assess whether the benefits from this implementation will outweigh the expenses and draw a clear development strategy to ensure seamless implementation and great results.
As a company with experience in computer vision, we can gladly consult you on the object recognition technology and discuss the potential value that it may bring you.