Shot of Camfind app being used to search headphones
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Camfind app: The 'Google' of real things?

A recent study by Chinese search giant Baidu found that in five years, half of all searches will be not using text input, but voice or visual.

CamFind aims to capitalise on that trend, hoping to be "the Google of the real world". The iOS and Android app lets users take snaps of physical objects and find out more about them.

If you see someone walking with a handbag you like, point the camera at it and it will try to find a match at a retailer. Point it a film poster and it will bring up screening times and a trailer.

For the past three years, the LA-based team has been researching how to advance the field of computer vision using image recognition to create a "digital fingerprint" of the object which can be matched against similar objects in its database. Objects not recognised by its algorithms are manually tagged by humans.

Like Google, it uses 'contextual search advertising' for revenue - with advertisers bidding for keywords on items users are looking at.

But how does it measure up to similar technologies like Amazon Firefly or Google Goggles, the search engine's homegrown effort available on Android?

The BBC's North America technology correspondent Richard Taylor spoke to CamFind's Chief Technical Officer and co-founder Brad Folkens.