Idee does visual search, iPhone-style

Jevon has already beaten me to it with a post at Startup North, but I wanted to mention Idee Inc.’s new iPhone app, which I got a sneak peek at earlier tonight — it is seriously cool. It doesn’t take a lot to explain it: you take a photo of a CD cover (or record album cover, if you still have any of those) with your phone, and then click a single button to submit it to TinEye, the image-recognition engine that Idee recently released into the wild. Within seconds, you are taken to the listing for that album at iTunes, where you can listen to and/or buy tracks. Pretty slick.

The first thing that TinEye reminded me of was Shazam, the music-finding app that almost instantly recognizes songs that are playing on the radio or the stereo when you hold the iPhone up to a speaker. I’ve shown that app to several people — non-geeks — and each time their jaw dropped open in amazement that such a magical thing was possible. Just seeing it made them want to get an iPhone so that they could use it just for that app alone. I think the TinEye music search is another example of an app that could potentially spark that kind of reaction. It’s just so simple.

Interesting stuff from a great Toronto-based company. I can hardly wait to see what else CEO Leila Boujnane and the Idee gang come up with. Leila said the iPhone app should be submitted to Apple later this week, and should be ready to download soon afterwards.

click for a video demo

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