It is not new but the story behind impresses me in terms of idea creation and also it represents new ways how information can be found closer to the real-life search approach: "I saw this white dress the other night, and want to get results for a this type of white dress and not just a dress which has the same shape." Jonathan Allen wrote about Chic Engine on searchenginwatch.com:
What does breast cancer screening have to do with fashion? More than rubber bracelets or ribbon broaches.
Adrian Rosebrock, from Catonsville, Maryland, has put into action insights from his day job as a developer at the National Cancer Institute unit to make a visual search engine.
Working in the breast cancer screening unit, Rosebrock has been developing metrics to detect cancer in images and taking those learnings about computer 'vision', namely histology, and applied it to the problem of shape and color in visual search in the fashion vertical.
His project, Chic Engine, matches the shape and color of any image led query you input, either via a image file upload or a hosted image URL – provided you are looking for clothing matches. Currently the index of returned products comes mainly from ShopStyle but what is available so far is an impressive demonstration of how visual search could be something to look out for.