TikTok new feature – the visual search engines !

TikTok has a new feature, visual search engines! This feature is currently still in the beta phase, and only available on the Chinese version of the app.

What’s TikTok ?

Launched in September of 2016 TikTok is a short-form, video-sharing app that allows users to create and share 15-second videos, on any topic. TikTok maintains a separate app for the Chinese market, known as Duyin, which has over 300 million active monthly users.

TikTok is often referred to as a “lip-syncing” app, which makes it sound like it’s some online karaoke experience. But a closer comparison would be Vine, Twitter’s still sorely missed short-form video app whose content lives on as YouTube compilations. The interface is similar to Snapchat, with the ability to add sounds and song snippets from TikTok’s. There are also plenty of special effect options, filters, and an option to add videos you’ve created directly from your phone.


Chinese TikTok has a new feature, an in-video search. Search someone’s face to find more videos of them. Search in-video products or clothes and buy directly!


Users on TikTok (or Douyin in Chinese) can now press the “Search” button mid-video.

Drag a rectangle around the target area, and instantly perform a visual search for the area’s contents.


If you select someone’s face, the app will show you a list of other videos that they appear in. If you select a shirt, the app will do its best to locate that shirt on an e-commerce site.

It’s not the first time we’ve seen “visual search engines”.

Google let you search with a picture that appears on the internet.

Taobao (Chinese online marketplace) let user upload a picture in order to search for a product.

Nevertheless, TikTok’s is the first to propose the capabilities by taking the viewer directly from the video to a deeper destination of content and purchase !!

The question is… when Facebook or Instagram will think about it?


The History of virtual reality – Part 2

Here is the first part of the history of virtual reality =>

The History of virtual reality – Part 1

The invention of Motion Tracking – The Sword of Damocles

At the end of the 60’s, Ivan Sutherland an American become famous for inventing a software still used today by all those who make 3D (example: Pixar production), the « Sketchpad » software. But he wanted to go further. It was at MIT’s Lincoln lab that Sutherland and his colleagues made their first experiments. The first headsets were binocular, which mean that the same image was proposed to both eyes. The illusion of 3D was based this time on the fact that we see the image of the world change when we move our head. To be able to transpose this principle, the observer’s gaze needed to be support by mechanical. Since the headsets itself was already very heavy, it was necessary to use a special apparatus suspended on the ceiling. This is why they named it the “Sword of Damocles ». It wasn’t until 1970 that the first Visio headset was fully functional. It was the display of the 3D image that was the real challenge for Sutherland or more precisely, what he was calling the « hidden lines ». « Hidden lines » are the lines of the « skeleton » of an object.

When we look at the front of a cup, we can’t see his back.

When someone is drinking with this cup, we only see a small part of it.

With the « Hidden lines » it was necessary to create an elaborate algorithm so that the computer understands when it was necessary to hide or show certain parts of an object and add a detector of movements to the helmet to be able to determine the angle of view. When the user was moving their head, what they were seeing in the glasses was changing accordingly. For the first public demonstration of “The Sword of Damocles”, Sutherland was careful to specify that this type of tool could amplify the abilities of designers of three-dimensional objects (gadgets or buildings). With this technology, IBM implemented a design assistance tool for General Motors and gave birth to the AutoCad software that is now used to develop projects for architects and engineers. But 3D design not only helped the world of automobiles and construction, but it also helped the world of medicine and surgery because the human body is also a three-dimensional object.

The invention of LEEP Lenses

Eric Howlett, inventor and entrepreneur, who worked at MIT and General Electric in the field of optics and electronics, made a breakthrough in the world of virtual reality headsets thanks to “wide-angle” lenses, the LEEP (Large Expanse, Extra Perspective) lenses. Like all the pioneers we’ve seen so far, Howlett needed funding and proposed his concept to Kodak and Polaroid, and they weren’t interested. After a few years, it was NASA that contacted him to fund his invention. In fact, NASA had just opened a « Virtual Environment » department to create a helmet, the « VIVED » helmet in partnership with VPL research. In 1989 NASA asked Howlett to supply LEEPs to VPL research and he realized that VPL research was going to sell his helmet more than $ 10,000 on the public market without giving him money for the device. In response and independently of NASA, he decided to build his own helmets and created the “CyberFaces” and unfortunately it wasn’t a big success. Nowadays, all modern helmets are equipped with this LEEP technology, allowing to enlarge the FoV (Field Of View) which is used to define the visual field. During the Cold War, fighter aircraft had hugely evolved technologically and the pilots were overwhelmed. The pilots were left with so many control buttons to manage that they had difficulties in choosing the right sequence of manipulations, and being effective. Thomas Furness III, inventor, a professor in the Department of Industrial Engineering and Systems at the University of Washington, founder of the Human Interface Technology Lab, was inspired by the work of Edwin Albert Link, and improve the training of the drivers through the VR. Financed by the Defense, Furness offered the pilots a training session during which they had to wear an RV helmet while sitting in a cockpit model. The helmet was nicknamed « Darth Vader ». From 1991 to 2009, different kinds of helmets made their appearance on the market, without much success.

The History of virtual reality – Part 1

The passion of Palmer Luckey

In 2009, 16-year-old Palmer Luckey is both an electronic fan and a geek (passionate about the High Tech field and by extension by several specific areas including video games) At that time the video games that at that time knew a revolution, the 3D technology. Interested about this revolution Palmer makes an inventory of available technologies: 3D screens, VR920, HeadPlay, Z800, but finds flaws in each of these devices. After some researches, he announced on a forum of discussions, that he was beginning to construct his own helmet, based on the works of the lenses Leep. He made several rather convincing prototypes on which he communicated through photos posted on the internet and forums and that’s how he found a job. During his study, he was debauched by a university (ICT) to work in the laboratory of « mixed reality ». Their project was to design a VR headset to low cost.

In early 2012, John Carmack, also tries to build a VR helmet, and was actually inscribed on the same forum where Palmer showed the evolution of his research, they shared, exchanged and from there was born a complicity a friendship. Together they improved Palmer’s prototype and gave birth to the « Kickstarter » helmet, which is actually the grandfather of the current Oculus Rift.

The History of virtual reality – Part 1

Palmer decided to give up his studies and create the company « Oculus VR », to launch the Kickstarter campaign. This collaborative fundraising campaign raised $ 2.4 million. In 2014, Facebook acquires Oculus VR for $ 2 billion. Palmer Luckey joins Mark Zuckerberg’s company. On March 31, 2017, Palmer Luckey officially resigns from Facebook after several months of absence and media silence. Also in 2014, Sony announced its project of virtual reality headset for their home console, and after a while, it becomes Playstation VR. Samsung announces also their virtual reality headset, initially called “Gear VR” and later renamed as Samsung Gear VR. November 2015, the Samsung Gear VR is available for purchase. In 2016, several virtual reality headsets were marketed. Among them, the Oculus Rift released in March, and the Playstation VR in October. The year 2015 – 2016 was a huge boom for the virtual reality headset market. Today, many helmets are on the market, but there are still limits. Being still at the dawn of its possibilities, virtual reality has a problem of content! 

MBADMB Virtual Reality

The History of virtual reality – Part 1

According to Wikipedia: the term Virtual Reality (VR) refers to a computer technology that simulates the physical presence of a user in an artificially generated environment by software, an environment in which the user can interact.

Still according to Wikipedia, Augmented Reality (AR) is the superposition of reality and elements (sounds, 2D images, 3D, videos, etc.) calculated by a computer system in real time.

Augmented reality can be used in two different ways:

  • By a direct vision: by the superposition of digital information between our eye and the real world using a screen, (like Google Glass for example).
  • By an indirect vision: using a camera that films the real and displays the augmented images on a screen (like Pokémon Go for example)

What are the differences between virtual reality

and augmented reality?


Virtual reality invents another world. This technology puts us in a world modeled in three dimensions, in which it is possible to move and interact. This technology is generally 75% virtual and 25% real.

Augmented reality is the mix of virtual reality and real life. This technology is usually 25% virtual and 75% real.

The first references to the idea of virtual reality as

we understand it today are not new.


Edwin Link

Edwin Albert Link, primarily an organ builder and by passion a pioneer in aviation, underwater archeology, and submersibles. He is most known for inventing and marketing in 1929 a simulator called “Link Trainer” or “Blue Box“.
This simulator was used by the US Army to train pilots during the Second World War.
Indeed after, having his flight permit, Edwin Link began to imagine a more effective way to learn to fly cialis koupit. With his knowledge of flying, he managed to develop a machine that was the first immersive device creating a universe of virtual reality.





The association of the senses – Morton Heilig

It was in 1961 that Morton Leonard Heilig, a philosopher and documentary filmmaker, developed his idea of “Movies of the future” and filed a license

for his device « Sensorama ».
For total immersion, Sensorama could display stereoscopic 3D (a method of giving an illusion of depth to an image or a video) and allowed to watch among five films, while cutting off the user’s external stimuli.

Physically similar to an arcade game terminal, the spectator could, after inserting a piece, choose from five experiences:

  • A motorcycle ride through the streets of Brooklyn
  • A bicycle route
  • Buggy (light-duty all-terrain vehicle with two seats) in the dunes of a desert
  • A helicopter flight
  • Exchanging a few steps with a belly dancer

Morton Heilig never managed to secure the funds needed for industrial production of Sensorama because the machines were very expensive. There were also very few films for this technology because filming involved the use of a special camera.

Heilig, however, didn’t stop at Sensorama because he also filed a license for the Telesphere Mask the same year. It was an immersion headset for once again stereoscopic television which is surprisingly reminiscent of our current virtual reality headsets.

To be continued in the next episode