The IBM Watson™ Visual Recognition service uses deep learning algorithms to analyze images (.jpg, or .png) for scenes, objects, faces, and other content, and return keywords that provide information about that content. You can also create custom collections of your own images, and then upload an image to search the collection for similar images.
The Visual Recognition services comes with a set of built-in classes so that you can analyze images with high accuracy right out of the box. You can also train custom classifiers to create specialized classes, and create custom collections to search for similar images.
The Visual Recognition service can be used for diverse applications and industries, such as:
Manufacturing: Use images from a manufacturing setting to make sure products are being positioned correctly on an assembly line
Visual Auditing: Look for visual compliance or deterioration in a fleet of trucks, planes, or windmills out in the field, train custom classifiers to understand what defects look like
Insurance: Rapidly process claims by using images to classify claims into different categories.
Social listening: Use images from your product line or your logo to track buzz about your company on social media
Social commerce: Use an image of a plated dish to find out which restaurant serves it and find reviews, use a travel photo to find vacation suggestions based on similar experiences, use a house image to find similar homes that are for sale
Retail: Take a photo of a favorite outfit to find stores with those clothes in stock or on sale, use a travel image to find retail suggestions in that area
Education: Create image-based applications to educate about taxonomies, use pictures to find educational material on similar subjects
To see the Visual Recognition service in action, see the Visual Recognition demo app. With the demo, you can analyze images for subject matter, and faces, as well as train a custom classifier.
The Visual Recognition
/v3/classify methods support English (en), Spanish
(es), and Arabic (ar) for default classes. Custom
classifiers returned with the
/v3/classify method only support
English. Collections methods are language agnostic.
All other methods support English only.
The following SDKs are available for the Watson Developer Cloud services, including the Visual Recognition API:
SDK for Java: Using this beta SDK only requires that you add the appropriate commands to integrate the Java SDK into your build process, as explained in the README file for the Java SDK, and that you understand the simplified functions that it provides.
SDK for Node.js: Using this SDK only requires that you execute the npm install watson-developer-cloud command to install the SDK locally, that your code includes a var watson = require('watson-developer-cloud'); statement, and that you understand the simplified functions that the SDK provides. See the README file for the Node SDK for more information.
SDK for Python: Using this beta SDK only requires that you execute the appropriate pip or easy_install commands to install the Python SDK on your system and that you understand the simplified functions that it provides. See the README for the Python SDK for more information.
SDK for iOS (Swift): This beta SDK has third-party dependencies, such as ObjectMapper and Alamofire, which can be satisfied with the Carthage dependency management tool. Use the Carthage installer or install Carthage with the Homebrew package manager.
To see documentation that provides sample code for using the Node.js and Java SDKs, and equivalent REST API calls, see the API reference.
See the following for more information about the Visual Recognition service:
There's a video introduction to using, training, and retraining classifiers here: Custom Image Classifier with Visual Recognition - Building with Watson
You can see a quick demo of the Visual Recognition service in action. With the demo, you can analyze images for subject matter, and faces, as well as train a custom classifier.
You can get started quickly with the Visual Recognition service by following the Tutorials, which teach you how to use the service to create a custom classifier, classify an image, and detect faces in an image..Visual Recognition API reference.
For details on the individual methods and parameters, see the Visual Recognition API reference.
To interact with this API, use the Visual Recognition API explorer. Use the explorer to test your calls to the API, and to view live responses from the server.
Find answers to your questions about Watson in our developer communities: