The fish and the farm hook up to transform image retrieval

INVENTORS of cutting-edge 3D technology have teamed up with one of the region’s most exciting young media production companies to explore the potential of a brand new tool for image retrieval.

See Fish, based in Newcastle, has created innovative software that allows people to do visual searches through vast image collections using 3D space.

The company has teamed up with photography and media production company Picture Farm to trial See View, a programme that allows users to search for images by colour, shape and texture rather than just by keyword. The product could be used in a number of different industries ranging from graphic design to archiving and even medicine.

The pair met by chance at the Connect North East Investment Conference held at the Centre for Life in April 2008 after See Fish was selected to present its product.

The investment conference was staged to bring bright young technology companies together with potential investors to drive the knowledge-economy in the North East.

It was at the conference that See Fish’s managing director, Richard Perdik met David Walker from Gateshead-based Picture Farm who was photographing the event.

Mr Perdik said: “The opportunity to present at the Connect conference allowed us to increase the profile and raise awareness of the product and we were delighted to make some very valuable connections and meet some interested investment partners.

“The connection with David was more unexpected but this partnership allows us to test the product in another market as well as to exchange ideas with someone coming at the software from a different angle.”

David Walker, founder and chief photographer at Picture Farm, said: “Working in the image business, it’s in my best interest to find out how a product like this works. I am always keen to learn of new innovations in my industry and anything that makes my job quicker and more efficient is definitely something worth knowing about.

“I am a strong believer in the value of networking and the development of a strong, mutually beneficial relationship as has been the case with See Fish can only stand us both in good stead.”

See View was primarily designed for users of large banks of images - photos, pictures or even X-rays, and to enable those users to visually search the banks to find the appropriate image.

It has grown out of the frustration of the technology designers Jon Riley and Jonathan Edwards who had worked in image retrieval and found the process of keyword searches for images hugely time-consuming and restrictive.

The partnership with Mr Walker has enabled See Fish to test the product in a new market as well as to work with a test partner at a local level.

Media contacts:

Kate Syers, Mike Parker Media, on 07525 236310 or Mike Parker, Mike Parker Media on 07714 845616 or e-mail