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AI + Prop-Tech: Why Great Images Will Become A Lot Easier to Find

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Daniel emmerson

Published on 20th April 20173 min read

Property Technology (prop-tech) has been growing rapidly and one of the trends we see becoming more prominent in prop-tech’s future is Artificial Intelligence (AI), specifically its image recognition capabilities.

Image recognition, or computer vision, is the process of identifying and detecting objects, scenes or faces in a digital image or video. Thanks to new advancements, computers can now be taught to analyze and identify what’s in an image with lightning quick speed and accuracy. Amazon, Google and Microsoft have all made huge strides in advancing the capabilities of AI and to a large degree, are staking their futures on its capabilities.

AI technology is becoming more prominent in everyday life. If you have visited London or New York and passed through border control you are familiar with facial recognition. But the technology isn’t just stopping at security. Image recognition technologies will touch many industries in the coming years, from augmented reality gaming to factory automation and medical imaging analysis. The potential applications are endless.

Recently, at Bisnow’s ‘Future of Prop-Tech’ event in London, we saw first hand how Hammerson, one of UK’s largest commercial real estate companies and an OpenAsset client, leverages image recognition to engage customers who visit their properties. Hammerson manages a huge portfolio of retail assets and shopping centres and just released a new visual search app called ‘FindSimiliar’. By simply taking a photo or uploading an image of a product using the mobile app, shoppers are guided to where they can find that specific item, or similar items, in one of their retail stores nearby. This app is made possible because of the huge strides in image recognition.

So how will image recognition change Digital Asset Management? How can it be deployed to the project and property industries we work with such as architecture, real estate, construction and engineering companies?

Digital Asset Management is currently being disrupted by AI and we believe image recognition will fundamentally change how users experience, and interact with DAM solutions in the future. There will be a time where manual tagging of files will no longer be necessary. Down the road, when property based users add a new photo to DAM, the image will be analyzed and referenced among existing properties, projects and categories and will automatically suggest where the image should be placed and what keywords or tags should be applied. And the possibilities of this are not that far off today.

AI features – starting with image assisted keywording – are coming soon to OpenAsset. And the potential for AI and how it can further enable our real estate and property management clients is very exciting. Only the imagination of developers and users can limit the business applications for AI. Scary or not, the robots really are coming!