From “Pocket-lint” I see that Vodafone in conjunction with a German newspaper is testing a new search service based on scanning images (see below).
A user transmits a camera phone photo and the search engine, Otello, searches for information based on the image. “Pocket-lint” says the tests are being conducted with a German newspaper that provides additional information about articles that are photographed.
“Pocket-lint” says there’s no news about when or if the test will become a commercial service. I can certainly see the value of this type of service, although it’s not easy for software to recognize a wide variety of images shot with cameras of varying degrees of resolution, image quality and close-up capabilities.
Other companies are exploring scanning/search capabilities for camera phone photos. Mobot has formed partnerships with publications to provide information, such as coupons and discounts, based on images transmitted from phones.