10 best image recognition tools
The amount of information flooding the Internet, namely social media platforms, is huge. For brands, this data represents both a challenge and an opportunity as they look to effectively market themselves, protect their image, and excel in the era of information overload. Image recognition tools are the key to unlocking the potential hidden within this every-growing pool of images online.
For brands, this means exposure to more data than ever before, especially image-based data. Social media users have fully-embraced the concept of sharing photos in place of or accompanying text.
Evidence of this real-life explosion of, “a picture is worth a thousand words” can be seen in the growing popularity photo-based social media platforms such as Snapchat, with 187M daily users at the end of 2017 - up from 46 million at the start of 2014. And, Instagram, with 1B monthly users, up from 800M in September 2017.
The ability to identify, analyze, and exploit this growing trend became essential. With the future of digital marketing being dominated by visual data - image recognition technology had to exist. Without it, brands were missing out on a whole heap of valuable data.
In this post, I'm going to list some awesome image recognition tools. They have different features, capabilities, and prices. I've included Talkwalker's proprietary image recognition technology - more details later - because IMHO it's the best. Accuracy levels and ease of use, ensure it stands out from the crowd.
Over a 30-day period, the DHL logo was detected close to 10,000 times.
The image above shows the huge variety of DHL logos being shared or seen online. From DHL marketing campaigns to advertising banners at race tracks.
In this instance, a filter was used to find only images that included a reference to F1/Formula 1 in the text. Almost 18% - 1800 mentions - included reference to F1/Formula1. Of these images, only 8 referenced DHL.
The DHL logo is strongly linked to F1. These impressions - 1800 mentions - would have been missed if only the text had been monitored.
What a waste!
What is image recognition?
Okay, image recognition. A computer using its 'eyes', as you would use yours.
Check out What is image analysis?, if you're looking for more in-depth information.
Image recognition is the creation of a neural network that processes all the pixels that make up an image. These networks are presented with heaps of images of objects - already identified - so that the network can learn and recognize similar objects.
For instance, an AI would be shown thousands of images of shoes. The AI would then learn what images of shoes should contain. Show an image of an elephant, and the artificial intelligence would compare all the pixels in the elephant image to all the images of shoes it's seen. Finding no or few matches, the AI would recognize the object as an elephant.
Here're examples of tools that you may have heard of, but didn't realize used image recognition technology:
- Price comparison - take a photo of a product you're interested in buying, and use an app like Google Shopper to find out what nearby stores are charging
- Driverless cars - using computer vision and image recognition to identify pedestrians, road signs, and other vehicles
- Image search - present Google with an image or URL and the search engine will show you where the image has been used on the web, finding similar ones at the same time
- What TV show? - an app such as Israel's TVTak - the Shazam of TV - identifies the show you're watching by using video or image recogntion tech in your iPhone
- Is it a dog or not? - Not Hotdog, the image recognition app you can't do without... if you absolutely need to identify... a hotdog
Why should I use image recognition?
The data found with image recognition tools can be used in many ways. From understanding your customers and their interests, to creating targeted ads for specific groups. Imagine being able to provide Facebook ads based on people’s individual preferences and passions. just, WOW! Dog lovers could be exposed to advertisements for the trendiest new canine treats, while cat lovers could receive recommendations for the best food for cats.
Beyond the humorous feud between cat people and dog people, image recognition tools will help you better understand your customer base. Evaluate what would help you break into a new market, ensure that no one is misusing your logo, and analyze the true reach of your marketing. It can provide digital consumer insights you desperately need and open your eyes to new possibilities that you could have so easily missed. Image recognition technology is essentially the compass every business needs to navigate the complicated terrain of a modern world.
This post will give you some insight into the various image recognition tools available and help you make the important decision about which is best for your business and your brand.
What can image recognition tools do?
Image recognition tools can recognize, analyze, and interpret images. They're more efficient than you and your team. They'll save you time and money. Image recogntion tools can sort through countless images and quickly return data that's uniquely applicable to your business.
I’ve compiled a list of the 10 best image recognition tools and what sets them apart. Take a look!
Talkwalker | Proprietary image recognition technology
Talkwalker's image recognition tech allows you to search a database of over 30,000 logos, as well as scenes and objects. Meaning you have access to virtually any company information you could possibly need. Beyond the sheer volume of imagery it can recognize, it also uses its adaptable proprietary technology to analyze both text and images, in conjunction.
From maximizing the reach of your advertising to being aware of each time someone posts about your brand, Talkwalker's proprietary image recognition technology is a tool that'll add to existing knowledge you have of your brand and help you use that knowledge as you continue to grow your business.
Image recognition will detect the logos of Martini, Texaco, Michelin, despite no mention.
This means sponsorship ROI can be measured accurately.
Google Reverse Image Search | Search with image
You've have found the perfect image in the wrong size. You’re looking for an image that shares similarities with one you already have.
You need Google Reverse Image Search!
As the name suggests, this image recognition tool allows you to upload an image and perform a search with it. The great thing about this tool is that it is just as intuitive as a typical text-based Google search and it retains the power of Google.
Examples of how you could use this tool include:
- You need to find the source of an image so that you can credit it correctly
- Searching for improper use of an image that you own
If an image exists on the Internet, Google Reverse Image Search can help you with whatever the task is you give it.
Paste a URL or upload an image.
Uploading the above screenshot from the F1, brings a heap of image recognition data.
Google API Cloud Vision | Analyze images
Google API Cloud Vision allows you to analyze images in so many useful ways: from recognizing explicit content to detecting emotional cues in faces. With such a wide suite of features, it's a versatile tool that can be adapted to meet whatever your specific needs.
Beyond its flexibility, this image recognition tool carries with it the power of Google and all that the name implies. This means it's one of the most powerful tools you'll find.
Image recognition tool with the power of Google!
Amazon Rekognition | Image and video insights
Amazon Rekognition not only analyzes still images, it can also provide insight into videos.
It's a highly-technical program capable of:
- Object, scene, and activity detection - playing football, bike, beach, city, etc.
- Facial recognition - identify a person in a photo or video
- Facial analysis - smiling, eyes open, glasses, beard, gender
- Pathing - e.g. the movement of athletes during a game for post-game analysis
- Unsafe content detection - identify unsafe or inappropriate content in images and video
- Recognize celebrities - identify the stars from your video and image libraries
- Text in images - detect and recognize text such as street names, captions, product names, car number plates
Amazon assures users that the constantly-learning image recognition tool is intuitive to integrate and use.
A perk of Amazon Rekognition is that you only pay for data you use. This means that there are no minimum fees in place. This allows you to use the program as you see fit and access all the benefits of a powerful system without breaking the bank.
Unsafe content detection and celebrity recognition.
Objects and scenes, facial recognition and analysis, person tracking.
Clarifai | Search for similar images
This image recognition tool lets you search for images using other images. Initially, this may seem redundant or beg the question, “why?” But, once you begin to imagine the potential uses, the advantages of such a tool become clear.
You may need to find images based on similarities, and words can only take you so far. This is where the old adage rings exceptionally true — a picture is worth a thousand words, if not more.
Try as you might to describe an image to a search engine, you will likely never capture exactly what it is about the image you wish the engine to find. The Clarifai image recognition tool does the work for you. It helps you to find similar images simply by choosing photos and telling the tool what to do.
The tool analyzes a photo and recognizes mammal, wildlife, outdoors, grass, animal, herd, ivory... elephant!
Visual search, recommendation & discovery, customer analytics.
LogoGrab | Logo and mark recognition
With a name that is both catchy and descriptive, LogoGrab acts as a bridge for companies willing to cross into the next era of marketing and consumer engagement. From its patented Adaptive Learning Engine to its benchmark as the speediest and most precise tool on the market, LogoGrab knows its niche and fills it well.
Designed for tech companies, ad agencies, and brands, LogoGrab focuses on monetization and engagement on mobile platforms. Making it an ideal tool for those looking to get the most out of their social media presence.
They are proud to note that their tool integrates seamlessly into most preexisting platforms. This means that the transition to LogoGrab and the valuable information it can provide is smooth and painless — just another perk of an already awesome tool.
Build logo and SKU detection for images and video into any project.
IBM Image Detection | Trainable image recognition
IBM - a giant in the tech world - is at the forefront of developing cutting-edge technology that not only makes the modern world better, but also pushes it forward to new possibilities.
Its image recognition tools are some of the best out there. One of the main advantages of IBM Image Detection is how trainable it is. In other words, IBM provides a highly-customizable platform that can be tweaked to perform virtually any task you wish it to.
How awesome is that?!!
Analyze images from scenes, objects, faces, colors, foods, and other content.
The image recognition tool will identify brands in a picture.
Imagga | Catorgorize images
Imagga’s image recognition tool provides multiple automated options for sorting, organizing, and displaying your images based on category, color, tag — which can also be automated — or custom input. This means you have multiple built-in options, but can also develop one to meet your specific needs. The duality of Imagga allows it to fit any circumstance or skill level.
Whether you need a way to keep things ordered without burning valuable company time or you need to ensure no explicit content shows up on your page, Imagga has a tool for you, and if they don’t, you can make one!
All in one image recognition solutions for developers and businesses.
Cloudsight | recognize, categorize, understand
While some tools focus on highly-specialized execution and application, others try to maximize convenience while retaining impressive functionality. For those looking for an easy-to-use and self-described “effortless” tool, Cloudsight is perfect.
This image recognition tool streamlines the process of recognition, categorization, and understanding. It allows you to take a nearly hands-off approach to the use of visual elements.
It could mean...
- Allowing the program to write a natural-sounding caption
- Integrating imagery seamlessly into your online retail space
- Uncovering the key material in your video content
Cloudsight is intuitive to a fault without sacrificing any of the functionality you would expect from a topnotch image recognition tool.
EyeEm | Evaluate photo aesthetic rating
For those of you who love photography while recognizing its potential in an increasing image-based world, EyeEm’s image recognition could be the ideal tool. Especially for those using social media platforms.
With automatic tags and captions, it's great if you want to tap into the tags that will not only best fit your images, but also contribute to increased exposure. EyeEm goes above and beyond this, by using image recognition to evaluate a photo’s aesthetic rating.
Sounds cool, no?
It's useful for those who base their success on photography and post interaction. Evaluating photos based on their aesthetic appeal can help you choose the best possible image to maximize engagement.
The tool can be trained to recognize your unique style, ensuring that your posts keep the cohesive aesthetic you’re looking for when building an image-based page.
Image recognition tool that evaluates photos based on their aesthetic appeal.
Your take away from this list is that regardless what you want from an image recognition tool, there is an ideal one for you.
Image recognition technology will benefit any business, regardless of size, product, or market. From mega-corporations looking to maximize brand recognition to independent photographers wanting to expand their market via social media platforms. Image recognition is key to navigating our information-heavy world.
What'll make you stand out from the mass of data? What elevates your brand above that of your competitors? How can you best identify the ideal market for what you have to offer, then reach it in a targeted and highly-effective manner?
The answer is image recognition.
A predesigned tool that organizes for you, allowing you to spend more time growing your business. A customized program providing digital consumer insights from your market - there's an option for you. In a world of infinite information, image recognition tools sort through it all and open the door to endless possibilities. Click below and hunt down your logo online!