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Vodafone Showcases Image-driven Search at CeBIT

Zach Epstein
March 6th, 2008 at 4:00 PM

We’re not exactly sure that this type of service will be the next craze in the search engine world, but it is interesting none the less. One of the new services that Vodafone is showing off at this year’s CeBIT is a new approach to mobile search called Otello; not to be confused with Shakespeare’s tragedy, although it certainly could meet Othello’s fate. The premise of the service is an image search, but not the kind we’re used to. Rather than search for images online, Otello calls for users to utilize an image in order to perform a search. For example, a user can search by sending an image of Brittany Spears to a specified number via MMS and in turn, Otello will return details about her latest hillbilly tirades. Unfortunately, a live demo at the show didn’t exactly go as planned when German Chancellor Angela Merkel attempted to perform a search. Apparently when the Chancellor sent her own image as a query, Otello returned a message that she was not recognized. Whoops! Vodafone will have another crack at it next week when readers of the German tabloid Blid will be able to send photos tied to specific articles in order to receive bonus content on their handsets.


Zach Epstein

Zach Epstein has worked in and around ICT for more than 15 years, first in marketing and business development with two private telcos, then as a writer and editor covering business news, consumer electronics and telecommunications. Zach’s work has been quoted by countless top news publications in the US and around the world. He was also recently named one of the world's top-10 “power mobile influencers” by Forbes, as well as one of Inc. Magazine's top-30 Internet of Things experts.

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