Visual Intelligence

Richard Lee, CEO of Netra, described during his Pecha Kucha talk that 2017 will be the year of visual intelligence. His view is based on a couple key factors. First, consumers are now taking & sharing more images than ever on social media. Simultaneously, camera equipped phones are now everywhere while digital storage costs continue to decrease significantly. Lastly, the social platforms themselves are becoming increasingly visual – Snap Inc. now refers to itself as a camera company and Facebook is not far behind in moving to this viewpoint.

If 2016 was the year of “voice” due to the increasing maturity of the technology and a larger variety of solid use cases, 2017 will be the year of “visual” due to image recognition technology improvements with the biggest and smallest technology companies now focusing on this space.

But if the technology has improved so much, why has adoption been so slow? Richard answered this referencing a quote from Steve Jobs that “people don’t know what they want until you show it to them.” The potential for image is huge: he noted 100% of all photos have context and if you can combine this context with the people behind them and with brands, you could start to target based off of these attributes.

Why is this so important, especially as it relates to targeting & product development? As Richard mentioned, “the photo feed is now the window to your soul – what you take pictures of shows what’s important to you.”

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