Picture Recognition: Uses and Top Picture Recognition Software

It’s a no-brainer that data collection and analysis helps brands make better decisions. Companies across the globe are turning over every stone in search of intel that informs on consumer behavior, competitor activity, and market intelligence. As such – picture recognition has entered the chat

Picture recognition software, also known as image recognition or as a component of computer vision, uses artificial intelligence to detect specific details in photos and video footage. Use cases for the technology are robust and span virtually every industry, from facial detection used in military surveillance and reconnaissance to measuring invasive species found in fragile ecosystems.

And with the mind-blowing number of photos and videos uploaded to social media, brands can use picture recognition in a social listening capacity to understand how their brand is portrayed and how their products are being used. The sky’s the limit.

Here, we’ll explore the fascinating world of picture recognition with a focus on:

  • ­­­­Primary use cases of picture recognition
  • Top picture recognition platforms

The Importance of Continuous Consumer & Market Intelligence

The market for AI-powered picture recognition is booming and is expected to blossom over the foreseeable future. Here are a few statistics that will lend perspective to the conversation:

  • On the consumer end, mobile users who reached for picture recognition tools the most in 2021 hailed from Colombia, Brazil, and Mexico.
  • The picture recognition software market was worth $26.2 billion in 2020. It’s forecast to reach just shy of $85 billion by 2028 while boasting a CAGR of 16.1%.
  • The global artificial intelligence market is in high demand. The industry was valued at $62.35 billion in 2020 and is projected to grow at an astonishing CAGR of 40.2% through 2028.

There are many creative ways your brand can gather insights using picture recognition. Let’s examine a few ways artificial intelligence can boost your market intelligence by leveraging the vast ocean of unstructured visual data.

Popular Use Cases for Picture Recognition Software

1. Automotive and Farming Industries

One day, cities will be filled with driverless vehicles processing visual data in real-time. In the meantime, the auto industry is implementing levels of automation within vehicles capable of processing visual clues.

Uses for the technology include safety buffers like stability control, blind-spot detection, and collision warnings. High-level automation features include self-parking, lane assist, and accident avoidance. Of course, fully autonomous vehicles and fleets transporting parcels and consumer goods still have a way to go to gain the public’s trust and government approval.

Naturally, augmenting the safety and efficiency of a vehicle in motion using AI is the most obvious use in the industry, but there are many more. For instance, picture recognition can monitor worker safety in the warehouse and spot abnormalities in production, to name a couple of big ones.

While the farming industry may not be on everyone’s radar, advances in picture recognition are changing how farmers harvest our food. At CES 2022, John Deere introduced its autonomous 8R tractor set to roll off the assembly line in late 2022. The self-driving tractor boasts six stereo cameras that process images and videos to provide a 360-degree view. Best of all, the tractor can be controlled by a smartphone app that geofences operation, so it doesn’t wander off into civilization.

2. Security and Surveillance

From military reconnaissance to brands looking to minimize shrinkage, picture recognition goes a long way for security and surveillance. AI can be trained for facial recognition and can even detect expressions too.

Of course, this use of picture recognition has applications in virtually any commercial environment. The tech also has utility within IoT devices on the consumer end and can be marketed as such. Regardless, picture recognition software trained to capture and analyze threats will continue to be one of the most widely used applications of the technology. And relative newcomers to the AI circuit, like Clarifai, offer turn-key solutions for specific security applications.


3. Healthcare

As we said, photo recognition establishes pattern recognition in images. One of the most effective uses of the technology is in the healthcare industry. That’s because AI can be trained to identify any structure – and it doesn’t matter how small the structure is in real life. After all, anything visually captured in the human body can be processed with picture recognition. The cellular level isn’t off-limits.

This ability provides obvious value in remote monitoring, diagnosis, and early detection. And taking it back to the business side, picture recognition can expose patterns in purchasing behaviors in the health and wellness section of your local pharmacy so you can supply more of what your customers are looking for – and ax underperformers taking up coveted shelf space.

4. Retail and E-Commerce

For brands connected to retail and e-commerce – this is an exciting time to be in business. There is just so much that picture recognition can be used for to help your brand level up. You can perform product audits using picture recognition within retail environments to track how different brands and SKUs move based on placement.

You can analyze sales based on how items are organized and use picture recognition to decipher consumer attitudes in your display. You can also use it to notify staff when a consumer picks up the last item on the shelf.

There’s also the ability to tie AR to images within apps to provide more information to consumers. Additionally, you can help consumers find your goods or upsell items using picture recognition. This is also an excellent opportunity to network with B2B brands that facilitate picture recognition to ensure consumers find you when they take a picture of that handbag they absolutely can’t live without. You can get very creative here.

5. Social Listening

Social listening helps brands understand how consumers relate to their products and how their brand name is perceived in relation to competitors. Many brands are still trying to come to grips with using social listening to help them understand their brand health using sentiment measurements

Forward-thinking brands include picture recognition in their measurements because they realize a mention isn’t always a mention – often, it’s just a photo. As such, they’re careful to include how their brand image is playing out online through the insane amounts of consumer photos uploaded on the daily. If you’re measuring your KPI’s on text alone – well, you’re missing out.

Of course, this isn’t an exhaustive list of use cases brands can employ. But real quick, let’s highlight a few picture recognition software solutions making waves.

Top Picture Recognition Software Platforms

1. NetBase Quid

The AI running in NetBase Quid processes over four million images a day, so you don’t have to. Not only that, but it’ll also find your logo anywhere – even if it’s altered, cut off, or reflected backward in a mirror. That’s important because not everybody @’s you.


NetBase Quid’s next-generation AI is already trained to an industry-leading 2k+ logos, from A&W Root Beer to Zurich Insurance Group, so you’re picking up brand mentions from social photos from day one.

2. Amazon Rekognition

Amazon Rekognition uses machine learning to automate your image and video analysis. The tool offers the option to use pre-trained AI for image analysis or a fully customizable alternative to extract targeted insights from your pictures and video.


3. Microsoft Azure Computer Vision

Under their umbrella of Azure Cognitive Services, Microsoft’s Computer Vision tool uses AI to label visual content with objects and context, extract text, and provide image descriptions.

Not only that, they offer a B2B collaboration feature within their Azure Active Directory (Azure AD) that allows guest users to collaborate with your organization. Have a photo-rich dataset to share in a mutually-beneficial relationship – or vice versa? Game on.

4. Clarifai

Clarifai offers a slew of pre-trained AI models to get you up and going fast. These include an apparel model to detect clothing and fashion accessories, a demographics model to categorize age, gender, and cultural cues, a weapons detector, facial recognition, food modeling to an ingredient level, and a general visual segmenter, which identifies objects in images down to the pixel level. And these are just a few of many. If that’s not enough – they offer fully customizable AI models to suit any need.

5. Syte

Want to help your consumers find your brand? Syte uses picture recognition in a discovery capacity to push customers towards your brand.


6. IBM Image Detection

You’ve heard of Watson, right? Put it to work with picture recognition to pull insights, interact with consumers and employees and train its AI on the language of your industry.

7. Google Cloud Vision

From exploring explicit content to uncovering facial cues, Google Cloud Vision is the place to be. It has a simplistic API that helps developers integrate object detection and picture recognition with a user-friendly interface.

8. Imagga

Want to be on the cutting edge of photo recognition? Imagga uses customizable machine learning to provide intelligent apps for any use case. With a bunch of turn-key solutions for brands seeking picture recognition comeuppance – Imagga has you covered.


The uses for picture recognition will continue to grow as technology advances. Does your brand want to know what’s going on with consumer behavior? If so, you’ll want to be on the forefront because a picture is worth a thousand words. Picture recognition isn’t the future – it’s here. Reach out for a demo to uncover how consumers interact with your brand using visual data.

The Importance of Continuous Consumer & Market Intelligence

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