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Salesforce earlier this year introduced its Einstein Vision capability, an idea with a lot of promise but not a great deal of precedent. Who had applications that could see, and how would this be used?
For decades, we’ve been content with scanning documents and analyzing them with optical character recognition tools, or we’ve used bar codes and QR codes — but it all came down to recognizing simple symbols.
Suddenly there was something much closer to human reading that needed explaining. Visual Search, introduced with Einstein Vision, gives customers the ability to photograph things and use them in searches for products and services. Vendors can use it to identify things in processes that didn’t have analogs before.
For instance, with Einstein Vision, marketers can quickly can analyze photos for presence of brand images and understand how brands are perceived and used. With a picture, you don’t have to rely on your gut or your experience, however faulty they might be.
Vision services also can be used in product identification to give service reps a way to evaluate possible service issues before dispatch, so that the right resources can be sent.
All of this leverages existing customer technologies, mostly in handheld devices. This is important, because it reduces the time it takes to diffuse the solution throughout the marketplace.
If, for instance, these vision solutions required special cameras or a wired connection, it would take far longer to diffuse the solution through a customer base. Or maybe the solution, however useful it is, might never make it to market.
The Einstein Vision announcement whetted appetites with its ability to recognize photos and logos, and Salesforce anticipated it would be able to provide applications to support visual search, brand detection and product ID in short order — which…