Slyce, a Toronto based tech startup that specializes in visual search recognition, is poised on the brink of domination of the online buying market. Visual search recognition is a rapidly growing field that has already been introduced to the world through Amazon Flow, or the Amazon Firefly feature available through its Amazon Fire phones.
Visual search recognition allows consumers to point the camera on their phone at a product and the app will then determine what the product is and then quickly scan through through millions of individual product photos to find a match. The Amazon Flow is limited in its ability, however, as it can only recognize products still in the original packaging, as it relies heavily on branding to determine what the item is. The problem with this, of course, is that many retail items don’t contain product branding on the item itself, nor do many of the most sought after products product packaging in the first place. So when you see someone walking down the street with a product or item you just have to have, you are dependent on their memory of where they got it and what the specific name of the product is.
Slyce, however, is a whole new entity as it has the ability to recognize products with no packaging, such as shoes or other clothing items. Slyce relies heavily on multiple images online retailers already have stored for their products. This allows Slyce to determine the specific nature of the product based on a process of elimination. Slyce will first use an algorithm that helps it determine what the item is overall: a shirt, a car or a baseball bat. Then it begins to narrow down features completely unique to the item. If it is a shirt, it determines whether the fabric is patterned or plain, how many buttons it has, and whether it has a collar and cuffs or whether it’s long sleeved or short sleeved.
From there it can narrow down specific item attributes even further to more minute details like the exact distance between the buttons on a shirt, the specific length of the collar and cuffs or the depth of the neckline. Ultimately, the goal is to not just make an exact product match, but to also be able to offer the closest alternative, if the product is out of stock, on backorder or the specific size needed is not available.
Recently, Slyce has acquired Tel-Aviv based Pounce, which is a checkout feature for mobile shopping apps. With Pounce, consumers can enter their checkout information one time and purchase from a number of stores all at the same time. With Pounce in their pockets, Slyce is poised to slice themselves a very large piece of the internet marketing pie.