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What Are the Most Popular Picture Identifier Apps in 2021?

Artur Olechowski d08c1359d2

09/06/2021 |

8 min read

Artur Olechowski

Visual search is making headlines today but in case you haven’t heard about photo recognition yet, it’s high time you got interested as this branch of software engineering may change your life, in a way. A typical picture identifier is a great facilitator, providing many benefits in everyday activities. 

Picture identifier apps help and accompany us in virtually any situation, no matter who and where we are. And it’s not only virtually. From counting calories in a dish and identifying clothes and wine to monument naming and helping the blind in their daily activities – that’s just a fraction of what they do. To check it for yourself, you only need an image recognition app – something that has enjoyed a brilliant career in recent years, and with the future at its feet. 

Which photo identifiers are especially popular in 2021 and deserve special attention? What technologies do they need to run smoothly? Let’s see.

In this article, we’ll discuss the following issues:

  1. Technologies behind picture identifier apps. How do they really work?
  2. 10 top image identifier apps in 2021
  3. Photo recognition – the future at a glance


Technologies behind picture identifier apps. How do they really work?

Even if sometimes regarded as controversial, artificial intelligence and machine learning, combined, can bring impressive effects. And this is definitely the case of photo recognition – the software’s ability to recognize and categorize photographed objects. Very often, it’s enough to just direct the phone’s camera at an object.

Depending on the image identifier, photo recognition tools may be used for both pictures and video materials. Thanks to machine learning algorithms they can do anything from finding, recognizing, and identifying objects (like leaves, CDs, DVDs, monuments, plants, and animals), texts (including detecting company logos, scanning book covers, or business cards), features and activities. What may suffice is sometimes the object’s picture, and sometimes the product’s barcode, QR code, or just a label.

But to make the visual search and image recognition possible, we need to teach the mobile device to identify and categorize pictures first. In order to do so, a lot of visual data is being gathered and put into the software. And when the end-user uploads a given image, it is compared to the existing database – thanks to the model recognizing it we’ve built.

Of course, it’s not that simple. Big Data, image classification technology, mobility and AI software, deep learning routines, neural networks, image recognition algorithms that are powered by machine learning, and computer vision may all be in use here.


10 top image identifier apps in 2021

Which photo recognition apps it’s good to follow? Which are immensely popular, truly promising, or extremely useful? Here’s the list of 10 top image identifier apps in 2021.

1. Google Lens – a versatile image recognition app that is a part of Android’s standard camera app. It enables users to „explore what’s around you in an entirely new way”. It’s famous for translation and dining features introduced only two years ago. The former lets us translate the text written in an unknown language (that is auto-detected) into a selected one – it’s enough that we point the smartphone at the text. The latter – can help you find the most popular dishes in a restaurant you take your handset to, but also split the bill. Other features of this Google recognition tool embrace finding similar clothes or home decor, as well as exploring nearby places (including ratings and opening hours), identifying animals and plants, and quick homework help.

2. CamFind – a mobile visual search engine that helps identify objects (like consumer goods) once users take a picture of them. This applies to both general web content and local shopping results – we may look for and find similar products easily. Results can be saved (as favorites, along with their search results), shared, and stored offline. We may also compare objects’ prices, create visual reminders as well as assign descriptions to photos.

3. Calorie Mama – a handy photo identifier that enables instant food recognition based on photos of meals users provide. Tracking detailed nutrition values from food pictures – the main feature of this image recognition app – makes dieting much easier. It’s also great if we just want to be more fit and healthy as it lets us control daily calorie intake and make the right decisions concerning eating. Food items are identified quickly and accurately, representing cuisine from all over the world, and new dishes are added continuously.

4. Vivino – everything you need to know to pick the perfect wine for a given occasion available at a glance. If you scan a wine label, you’ll get access to ratings, reviews, and prices in different locations, and will be able to make a purchase directly from your phone. This image recognition app can be used at a shop, winery, or in a restaurant – not only for scanning wine labels but also wine lists, and choosing the right wine every time.

5. Coinoscopeimage recognition app that helps you automatically recognize coins based on the picture taken, e.g. on the trip abroad. However, it’s primarily useful for coin collectors, giving them various information and evaluation of coins.

6. PictureThis – a plant identifier with more than 10,000 plant species in the database. By uploading or taking a picture, you can identify a plant instantly as well as get access to useful information about it, including watering instructions and disease control. Also, if a part of the plant is sick, you’ll get to know why and what to do about it.

7. ScreenShop – dubbed the „Shazam for fashion”, and acquired by Snapchat recently, this photo identifier will help you „get the look” you like on the web fast based on the screenshots or images you uploaded. The picture identifier will tell you the brand of the favorite piece, give you a hint on where you can find the exact match, or, at least, indicate the most similar or the most affordable item.

8. TapTapSee – a mobile camera application that helps blind and visually impaired people in daily functioning. It’s enough to double-tap a given part of the screen to take a picture or a video of an object. Next, thanks to the smartphone’s VoiceOver, we can hear its name.

9. Amazon Rekognition – out of many features this highly-ranked picture identifier offers, let’s just mention detecting objects, text, scenes, people (including celebrities), activities, as well as logos and products. Also, it may spot potentially unsafe or inappropriate content, and check if workers indeed wear Personal Protective Equipment, increasing workplace safety.

10. Zebra Medical Vision – a photo identifier that helps radiologists who deal with medical imaging services, enhancing their capabilities. Abnormal findings and medical conditions are automatically detected and analyzed. Also, risk patients may be spotted earlier.


Photo recognition – the future at a glance

The future of photo recognition seems to be bright and promising. After all, image identifiers make people’s lives enhanced and their experience – fuller and easier. They help save a lot of time, understand the world better, and we may expect this picture identifier trend to get stronger and particular applications – even more numerous, available and accessible. Most probably, the detection of real-life objects will get faster and more accurate very soon. 

The photo recognition market’s worth is to reach 38.9 billion USD in 2021, about twice as much as in 2017, research by Markets and Markets showed.

Future applications of photo recognition may include, primarily, accurate diagnostics in medicine (based on medical imaging) as well as improving biometrics identification techniques and tools, including through iris recognition – e.g. for security purposes. Enhancing online education with unique possibilities of accurately presenting even complex objects such as human or animal bodies is also very likely. Image recognition may serve educational purposes well, especially regarding anatomy and health.

There are also great perspectives for retail businesses, e.g. to suggest potential clients similar products from the entity’s – on-site or online – offer. Even now, brands often take advantage of tagging products that lets them enjoy greater discoverability. And we may expect further progress of photo recognition use in digital marketing as well as enhancing safety features in self-driving cars that can recognize various objects on and nearby roads. Another great prospect is improving and enhancing workflow thanks to categorizing and online storage of large databases of things like invoices, contracts, and other documents.

But while apps making consumers’ experience better are often perceived good if not enthusiastically, some privacy-wrecking Orwellian tech products may be regarded as disturbing, and even scary. However, user verification, people counting, or tracking license plates by municipalities have their good sides, too. All in all, the possibilities of image recognition seem to be endless and go far beyond our imagination.

We may expect the photo recognition trend to get even stronger, and cover other aspects of life. If you would like to be a part of this picture identifier revolution, and you’re interested in learning more about image recognition software, there’s plenty of resources online, including some interesting comparisons.

And you, what photo recognition apps or tools would you recommend? Is there a picture identifier that changed your life for the better? In what way?

Rated: 5.0 / 1 opinions
Artur Olechowski d08c1359d2

Artur Olechowski

Managing Director at Codete. Master of Law, a graduate of postgraduate studies at the University of Economics in Krakow. In his daily work, he masters the combination of business strategy and technology.

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