Volume 6, Number 52; October 3, 2001   

North Plains Has eVision for Searching

Last week we reported on the integration of Toronto-based Idee's Espion Visual Search Option in Canto's Cumulus asset management system. Now, another asset management company has added a visual object-searching option to its system. North Plains Systems is offering an I-Piece (its name for modules) for its Telescope enterprise asset management system. Called eVe 3 Professional (eVision Visual Engine), the technology was developed by eVision, a small company based in Illinois and founded in 1999. This is the technolgy's first integration into a product.

The eVe 3 technology enables Telescope users to search image and video files using size, color, texture or shape as criteria. It uses algorithms that segment images into distinct object regions and then generates scale and rotation-independent descriptions of those regions. (Regions are found by determining the RGB value, on a pixel-by-pixel basis, of the image and then determining the spatial relationship between regions.) Users can also search just a section of an image or search based on Visual Vocabularies, which are representative samples of the images in a database.

The technology is Java-based and will run on any platform that supports a Java Virtual machine. Final pricing has not been set, but Telescope users can expect to pay $15,000-$60,000 for the server-based I-Piece, depending on the size of the installation.

Our take. Although visual content searching has been around for years, the technology has finally reached a level where the ease of use and cost make it viable for use in more markets. In addition, we suspect that some companies with huge enterprise-accessible repositories are finding that employees aren't too savvy in the use of metadata. Visual searching technology is a welcome option in those cases.

  © 2001 by Seybold Publications.