Announces Launch of New Visual Search Capability for Customers

*Amazon customers can now refine search results by using new shape picker technology*

SEATTLE, Nov 19, 2010 (BUSINESS WIRE) —, Inc. today announced a new search capability available to all customers in Amazon’s men’s and women’s shoe stores. This new capability allows customers to search and browse for shoes based on how they look, allowing them to find the styles they want easily and quickly. 

“With the launch of this new search feature, finding the right pair of shoes becomes even easier for customers,” said Bill Stasior, president of A9. “The customer is presented with a palette of shapes, representing different styles of shoes and that palette is constantly changing to match the customer’s context. Because the styles are shown graphically as silhouettes, customers don’t even need to know the name of the styles they are exploring.” 

Smoothly integrated into the existing navigation of search refinements, such as price range, brand, and color, the new capability now adds shape to the menu of choices when customers are searching for their desired shoe. 

This innovative feature is driven by Amazon’s visual search technology that analyzes product images for shape, color, and appearance information and classifies similar looking products together. The shape picker relies heavily on global and local shape contour descriptors, as well as texture descriptors, computed using algorithms developed at, Inc. which is located in Palo Alto and is a subsidiary of, Inc. This idea of helping customers find visually similar items is also manifested in the “Items That Look Like This” feature on the product detail pages. 


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