Robert_Charlton - 8:04 pm on Nov 15, 2010 (gmt 0)
Initially I thought this was fake viral buzz. Reading more deeply, I see that boutiques.com is owned by like.com, a fashion site that has pioneered visual search technology, and like.com has been acquired by Google.
Here's an excerpt of the notice (a graphic, so it's hard to transcribe) on the like.com [like.com] home page...
Like has been acquired by Google.
Since 2006, Like has been moving the frontiers of eCommerce one step at a time. We were the first to bring visual search to shopping, the first to build an automated cross-matching system for clothing, and more. We didn't stop there, and don't have plans to stop now. We see joining Google as a way to supersize our vision and supercharge our passion....
I assume from concurrent events that Google is very interested in combining Like's visual search technology with mobile search.
It's possible that this will be a platform to offer visual and mobile search capabilities to sites that don't have the technology... much as YouTube offers video hosting and a search component. Undoubtedly Google will keep itself in the loop, as with YouTube and Google Products... and also use the platform to create a fuller virtual model of the product and image search landscape, as it does with Google Squared, the Image naming game, etc, as well as with its own stats.