oSkope Visual Search is an innovative way to “see” the internet. They have tapped into the market of people who think about the world differently and don’t want to conduct traditional linguistic searches. With oSkope, you can search Amazon, eBay, Flickr and YouTube with the ease of looking at pretty pictures and dragging your mouse.
Two areas that oSkope could spend more time developing are it’s appearance and the services it searches. I’d like to be able to search the entire web this way, not just four predetermined sites. I understand they are a new application and are working out some kinks, but a wider search net would be ideal. Also, their appearance falls short of the now-traditional Web 2.0 “look”. It nailed the simplicity of Web 2.0, but lost points on the drab monochrome color scheme. I found my eyes feeling tired after just a few minutes on the site.
oSkope offers a free registration, which gives you a folder of your own to store your images in. This folder is ever-present at the bottom of your screen. To place images and their associated links in your folder, just drag and drop. You can even rearrange the order of your search results by the same simple drag and drop method. In fact – the entire site is a tabbed, drag and drop or a pull down menu interface with little room for user error.
The site has a nice introductory video demonstrating their services. I was unable to capture their nice, clean version for you, but I did find it on YouTube (using their site to search for it, natch). As you can see in the video, there are a variety of ways to sort your results – in grids, lines or by popularity, among other things. At first, the site feels somewhat awkward to use, as it is so different than normal search methods. As you surf the site, however, it gets more and more intuitive, until you are finding, sorting and grabbing visual search results like a pro. As you find results you can use, hovering over the image gives you a brief description of the item, and clicking takes you to it.
One last thing was lacking from the site – a social network. Having the social aspect would take it to the next level. Imagine being able to show friends what you were searching for as you searched? That would make oSkope not only useful, but incredibly cool. As it stands oSkope is still useful, and now has a home in my bookmarks bar. I plan to keep an eye on this young Web 2.0 app and see if they tap into the full potential of this idea in later releases.
My original version found at Profy site