Cool Iris and Visual Search – am I missing the point

I have been looking into visual search recently, and I have been disappointed with what I have found.  The observer last Sunday talked about some sites to watch, one of which was Cooliris.  This site offers a new cinematic way to discover the web, by browsing through the web’s images.

Perhaps I am behind the times but I thought it was rather useless.  Yes, you can browse images, but these images are separate from the context of their pages and I am not sure how, therefore this helps people do anything more than flick through images, like Google images search but without the context.

A slightly more interesting site is searchme.  This enable people to browse through a stack of images of webpages, giving a quick preview of each one.  I like the idea here, but I think that the user experience is rather clunky when switching between viewing the picture of the webpage and viewing the page in a browser.  The search results are also pretty underwhelming .

Pixsta is a nice product which allows companies to advertise their product in a visual product search engine.  there is a good idea here somewhere, but at the moment not enough information is rally given about the product to bring the experience alive.


  1. Tom Ball says:

    Philistine! It’s err, hmm, pretty?! Good point, well made ;o)

    Visual online does have it’s uses. Suggest, and as a few interesting ones

    And if you fancy coming to meet other visual folks ;o) Next one’s this week – alas I’ll miss it


  2. Steve Dukes says:

    Thanks for the review Trevor, glad you found the concept behind Pixsta useful. Certainly we hope to have more product information appear before the summer.

    On a separate note relating to Visual Search, its important to bear in mind the distinction between those companies that allow the user to ‘Search Visually’ i.e. CoolIris and those companies that have real ‘Visual Search’ technology (where the image is the query) such as,, Idée.

    Thanks again for the feedback,
    Steve (Pixsta)

  3. A luddite says:

    I thought Cool Iris was an application that meant I’d get a mini-link open whenever I ran my cursor over one. It’s kind of annoying, I find.

    But then, presumably, I’m further behind the times than everyone.

  4. Cooloris is good act of technology.

  5. so nice ! thanks for sharing!

  6. me and a friend are currently working on a research on this subject for a school project and your article is really useful

Start the Discussion!

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *