WEST LAFAYTETTE, Ind., April 4, 2017 /PRNewswire/ -- A worker in Algeria has a big problem. Something on an oil rig has broken and the well is shut down until he can replace it. He has no idea what this part is called and the parts catalog is gone. He speaks a Berber language and basic French but no English, and this downtime is costing his employer $30,000 a day.
But then he remembers the app on his phone. He takes a photo; the app identifies the part by shape and connects him to the parts supplier. He orders the part and before long, the oil well is back in business.
The app tied in to his supplier's database is VizSeek. VizSeek visual search software, created by Imaginestics, finds photos, 2D and 3D technical drawings using a photograph. It is still the only software on the market with this capability.
"There are some good systems out there for finding photos with photos," said Imaginestics CEO Jamie Tan, who received his Ph.D. in Physics from MIT. "Those are fine if you are shopping for high-heeled shoes using a picture. But the problem is, there are tens of millions of industrial parts in the field that have never been photographed. You can't use visual search if there is nothing to search for. That's why we crafted VizSeek to also find the engineering drawings for these parts," he said.
The VizSeek software allows manufacturers and distributors to create a secure, searchable database of their photos, prints, drawings, and models. End users and customer service staff can then locate these using a smart phone app or even a hand-sketch. For desktop use, they can use the drag-and-drop feature.
"VizSeek works on the development side as well to eliminate duplicated work," said Tan. "Sometimes engineers need to find a 2D drawing or 3D model, and rather than spend hours trying to find it by name, they can simply upload a photo or sketch of the part. VizSeek will use the shape to find the print in the database, or at least narrow the search so they can find the closest match in a few seconds," he said.
"This way you can start an engineering design based on an existing part rather than starting from scratch," Tan continued. "Our clients report this cuts the part design time from days to hours. This has a big effect on profit margins."
Imaginestics LLC, founded in 2002, was the pioneer in the field of visual search. The company is based in the Purdue Research Park in West Lafayette, Indiana. More information is at www.vizseek.com
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