Look out Google. Nokia is working on its own Mobile Search Engine!

With the rumors about Google Phone running wild, what is poor Nokia to do? Well, mobile search is in pretty embryonic stage right now. So if Google want’s it’s own smartphone, we want our own search engine, says Nokia.

That’s right, Nokia seems to be working on it’s own visual search engine. At least that’s what its patent application called “Semantic visual search engine” is telling us.

nokia-visual-search-engine.jpg

Nokia Visual Search Engine comprises three related processes: learning, categorizing and searching:

When analyzing the images, at first they are converted into a plurality of candidate low-level features (like shape, color and texture strength) and these features are extracted locally around salient points of the image.

Then a supervised learning approach is used to select prominent low-level features from the plurality of candidate low-level features. The prominent low-level features are associated with predefined object categories, that describe generic objects (e.g., cars, planes, etc.); parts of a person’s body (e.g., faces), geographical landmarks (e.g., mountains, trees. etc.), or other items.

When a new item is to be categorized, the target item is converted into a plurality of multi-scale local features and then each local feature is matched with the prominent low-level features using a probabilistic model. So, if the target item has a face, then this feature will be matched accordingly to the other items having a face and the item will be categorized.

The user can search for images by entering keywords, keywords and template images or just image templates without keywords. Items that are similar to the input item are then provided to the user in response to the inquiry.

I am no visual search engine algorithm expert, so I’m not sure if the claims in the patent are new, unique or very useful. But the fact, that Nokia is working in this direction at all, sounds pretty interesting.

nokia-visual-search-engine-image-feature-extraction.jpg

And some quips in the patent provide hints that Nokia may have much bigger ambitions for it’s search engine, then just searching for images inside of your cellphone:

“…it should be noted that, although “images” are explicitly discussed herein, the present invention can also be applied to non-image content such as audio files...” – general media search engine for audio and video files as well?

“…it should be noted that the search results can also comprise results of a search performed locally and/or at a remote location, and the items being searched can be located locally and/or remotely…This invention can also be implemented in hardware and used in consumer devices….” – sounds like a general Web visual search engine for mobile devices.

Are we looking at the great Google vs Nokia showdown somewhere in 2010?

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Author: Stasys Bielinis

While I like to play with the latest gadgets, I am even more interested in broad technology trends. With mobile now taking over the world - following the latest technology news, looking for insights, sharing and discussing them with passionate audience - it's hard to imagine a better place for me to be. You can find me on Twitter as @UVStaska'

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  • Brad

    Sounds like one of the products announced at CTIA:
    http://www.smartmobs.com/archive/2007/03/27/23half_launches….html

  • http://www.purplenova.com Pamela

    Every product has a certain product life cycle, The Product Life Cycle refers to the succession of stages a product undergoes, after it reached a maturity stage, The only road is to death or decline of the product. The mindset behind this is even though a product is widely accepted in the market, people do want change’s in the look and feel. Hence for the companies to stay ahead of the competition, they have to offer something better every time, Hence we see a lot of diversification happening at the top firms, Google and Apple launching their own mobile phone brands are the best example to see.The announcement of Nokia coming up with it’s own mobile visual search engine, which is definitely a perfect and exciting move for Nokia considering its position in the mobile market and not much visibility in the internet arena. it has overlooked the entire internet market which is a very important resource. This move will further enhance and firm its hold on the internet market, were a lot of mobile phone trading happens day in and day out, but being the spectators we can only wait and watch the whole show.

    Pamela

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  • http://www.burningthebacon.com Phil Barrett

    Sounds like they are arming themselves for the cold war with Google. Is it me or are they starting to look more and more like each other? I’ve drawn some comparisons on my blog earlier this week

  • http://1centralx.co.cc/google-search-54r9/category/google-adsense-search-engine google adsense search engine

    i enjoyed reading this, keep up the good work. …,