Getty Images, stock-photo and visual content agency, last week announced a partnership with Amazon to generate visual search results from Amazon’s AI assistant, Alexa. 

Amazon’s screen-enabled smart home devices, the Echo Show and Echo Spot, can now call on Getty’s digital library of over 200 million images to visually enhance voice searches with relevant photos. For example, if a user asks, “Alexa, what is the capital of Peru?” the answer “Lima” would be accompanied by a picture of the city itself pulled from Getty’s archive.

Amazon Echo Show, Featured Photo Courtesy of Amazon
Amazon Echo Show

The Getty catalog is constantly being populated with images from current events, sports, news, and entertainment, as well as archival and creative images. So if a user wants to know “who won the Super Bowl,” the device would bring up the most recent winner instead of a backlog image underscoring the intelligence of smart home skills.

Displaying relevant photos with search results is not a new feature for the screen-enabled devices,  however Amazon currently relies on Bing and Wikipedia to source visual search responses. The advantage of having access to Getty’s library is the expansion and quality of available content to help “shape the visual style of Alexa” as stated in a release.

Getty’s Senior Vice President of Strategic Development, Peter Orlowsky, stated that the company’s “premier collection of editorial, creative and archival content is a natural fit for Amazon’s Echo products, bringing best-in-class visuals to Echo users. We are honored to unite with Echo’s screen-based products and to use our deep library of content to give Alexa her best look yet.”

The partnership is timely as competitor, Google, is purportedly on track to launch a screen-enabled Google Home speaker before the end of the year. Amazon notably has the upper hand with their screen-enabled devices, however Google Home products have gained more traction overall in the smart-home market this past year, outpacing Amazon for the second quarter in a row.

Featured photo courtesy of Amazon

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