Pinterest, the company that makes an app for saving pins of images and other content on virtual boards, is announcing today that it’s incorporating the app’s visual search technology into its browser extensions. Pinterest’s browser button for Chrome is the first to get it.
This marks the first time Pinterest is letting people do more than save items to boards from its browser extensions.
“Just like on Pinterest, you can use visual search to pinpoint specific objects, products, patterns and colors in an image and get related items and ideas in real time,” Pinterest front end engineer Kent Brewster wrote in a blog post. “You’re also able to search using the whole visible webpage — just right-click the background of the page and choose Search.”
Pinterest has been doing a lot with visual search in recent years. It has begun a beta of its Lens feature that lets users capture content using cameras on Android and iOS devices and then find pins showing visually similar content.
Pinterest first enhanced its app with visual search in 2015. The feature requires users to tap on the magnifying glass on an image and then adjust the rectanglular overlay on top of the image to highlight an area of interest; from there, Pinterest shows pins that it thinks are visually similar. That feature also drops white dots on top of items that Pinterest recognizes.
Just like in the Pinterest app, on websites other than Pinterest you’ll be able to narrow down your visual search by clicking on different-colored tabs for different objects and categories and adjusting the rectangular overlay.
Real-time object detection — the dots on top of images — are coming later, Pinterest engineer Kelei Xu wrote in a Medium post.