Amazon launches visual search engine

Photo: Kaspars Grinvalds /

On Amazon, you can now look for a particular outfit based on a picture. StyleSnap is a new addition to the online retailer's app, which recognises photographs with artificial intelligence.


Fashion photography

Amazon has revealed Stylesnap, with which customers can take or select a picture and use it to look for similar products. The tool is currently only intended for fashion products. It works with artificial intelligence and does a lot more than just photographic recognition: the search results and recommendations also take into account factors such as brand, price category and customer reviews. "The simplicity of the customer experience belies the complexity of the technology behind it", Consumer Worldwide CEO Jeff Wilke explained.


Amazon stresses how difficult it was to build this tool: the technology should be able to learn from fashion pictures from influencers, celebrities, magazines and more - but of course those feature a wide range of poses and backgrounds. To enable the recognition of clothing items, the tech uses machine learning using artificial neural networks that mimic the workings of the human brain. Amazon is hoping to reach more influencers this way: those who take part in the Amazon Influencer programme can receive commissions when they inspire people to make a purchase.