Self-driving cars, face detection, social media content moderation — it’s already difficult to imagine our world without image recognition powered by Artificial Intelligence. Digital image processing has become an essential element of the operations and progress for companies across industries, locations, and sizes — and for each of us as individuals, too.  The Image recognition market is rapidly growing!

In the last decade, the AI image recognition market, based on ever-evolving machine learning algorithms with growing accuracy, is making impressive steps. In 2023, the global market was evaluated at $53.29 billion. The projections are that it will reach 12.5% compound annual growth rate until 2030 — to hit the impressive $128.28 billion. 

But what is driving this massive development? 

It’s the perfect storm of diverse factors: major technological advancements, availability of funding, the ubiquity of mobile devices and cameras, and last but not least, shifts in consumer expectations about interactive visual user experience.  

The result is that numerous big industries have already implemented image recognition in various contexts — from retail, ecommerce, media and entertainment to automobile, transportation, manufacturing and security. The prospects are that adoption of image recognition will continue on a massive scale across verticals.  

In the sections below, we go over the basics about image recognition, the growth statistics and projections, and the industries driving the change, as well as Imagga’s pioneering role in the field.  

The Basics About Image Recognition and Computer Vision 

Before we delve into the numbers about the image recognition market growth, let’s get some definitions about the technology — and the nuances involved in image recognition and computer vision and their place within the broader fields of Artificial Intelligence and machine learning.

While the two terms are very close and sometimes even used interchangeably, there are some differences to note.  

Image recognition entails the identification and categorization of visual content, including objects, text, people, actions, colors and other attributes within an image or photo. The typical actions that can be executed with the help of image recognition tools include image tagging, image classification, detection and localization, as well as feature identification and extraction. They’re often powered by technology called convolutional neural networks (CNNs).

Computer vision, on the other hand, is a broader term. It includes not only image recognition, but also the process of grasping context and gathering data from visuals. The main techniques in AI computer vision include object detection, image classification, and image segmentation, as well as progressive new ones like generation of visuals, restoration, and 3D vision. 

The Numbers Behind the AI Image Recognition Market Growth 

What stands behind the $53.29 billion global market value of image recognition? Let’s delve into the findings of Maximize Market Research’s AI Image Recognition Market- Forecast and Analysis (2023-2029) and of Grand View Research’s Image Recognition Market Size, Share & Trends Analysis Report covering the period 2017-2030.

Naturally, the biggest share is North America, which made up 34.8% of the market in 2022 because of cloud-based streaming services’ expansion in the U.S. It also has the highest growth momentum at the moment, compared to Europe, Asia Pacific, Latin America, and the Middle East and Africa. 

The most quickly growing market is Asia Pacific, with a compound annual growth rate of 16.7% until 2030. The driving forces there include increased use of mobile devices and online streaming, as well as security cloud solutions and ecommerce. As for Europe, the projections until 2030 are promising major growth too, fueled by technological advancements in obstacle-detection for automobiles.   

The regional market penetration is the highest in North America, followed by Europe and Asia Pacific. 

In terms of field of application, the five main areas where image recognition has a major role include marketing and advertising (biggest share), followed by scanning and imaging, security, visual search, and augmented reality (with the smallest share). 

As for segments, the facial recognition one was the most prominent in 2023, driven by the increased security needs in the banking, retail and government sectors. In the next few years, the sectors projected to be the main driving forces for the image recognition market growth are marketing and advertising, as well as the service segment. In marketing and advertising, the need for improved user experience and better ad placement are key. As for the service segment, customization of image recognition tools for specific business needs is central. 

The main techniques in wide use include recognition of faces, objects, barcode and QR, patterns, and optical characters. In 2022, facial recognition accounted for 22.1% of the image recognition market, driven by the growing requirements for safety and security. Pattern recognition is expected to grow significantly, with its use in areas like detection of anomalies, recommendation systems, and more.  

Industries and Verticals Driving the Expansion

The expansion of the image recognition market is driven by the technological adoption in a couple of key industries and verticals, as observed in the Image Recognition Market Size, Share & Trends Analysis Report by Grand View Research and the AI Image Recognition Market- Forecast and Analysis (2023-2029) by Maximize Market Research. 

The major ones include media and entertainment, retail and ecommerce, banking, financial services and insurance (BFSI), automobile and transportation, telecom & IT, government, and healthcare, as well as education, gaming, and aerospace and security.

In the last few years, the retail and ecommerce segment had the biggest market share of more than 22%. This was largely due to the use of image recognition in online shopping, through which customers can search for items by making a photo of their desired object, shop the look, and similar functionalities. They have found wide adoption in fashion, furniture and other ecommerce sections.  

The other major segments were media and entertainment, followed by banking, financial services and insurance where image recognition is widely used for ensuring security and identification, and automobile and transportation, driven by the use of image recognition in self-driving vehicles.

In 2023, the revenue share was the biggest in retail and ecommerce, while the lowest was in healthcare. As for the forecast for the compound annual growth rate until 2030, the banking, financial services and insurance segment has the lowest projection, while healthcare has the highest.   

Imagga: A Pioneer and Major Player on the Image Recognition Arena 

Imagga has been working on cutting edge AI technology in the field of image recognition for more than 14 years now. We’re proud to be one of the pioneers and to continue our inventive approach to automating visual tasks for businesses across industries. We’re also happy to be on the list of key players in the field in the AI Image Recognition Market- Forecast and Analysis report by Maximize Market Research, alongside IBM, Amazon, Google, Microsoft, and more. 

Our product portfolio is constantly expanding and currently includes technology that powers up image and video understanding, content moderation, and pre-trained computer vision machine learning models. 

Imagga’s image recognition technology is packaged in easy-to-integrate APIs. They can be easily rolled out in the cloud or on premise, depending on the customer’s needs. We also offer custom model training which is essential for building custom models tailored to the specificities of the client’s data. 

Imagga’s mission is to provide companies with the most powerful tools to get the greatest value from their visual content. We help businesses improve their workflows, employ automation of visual tasks, and gain deeper insights into their visual data.  

The Exponential Development of Content Moderation 

Image recognition is at the core of AI content moderation — a particular use of visual processing and identification that has gained significant traction in recent years. 

With the unseen growth of social platforms and websites, as well as ecommerce and retail digital channels, the amount of user generated content posted online every second is simply unimaginable. But not all content is appropriate, legal, or safe from harm. That’s why many different types of online businesses have turned to content moderation — so they can provide user-friendly and safe platforms for shopping and socializing to their customers.

Automated content moderation has brought a major change in the field. It has a high rate of efficiency and protects human content moderators from being exposed to horrific visual content on a daily basis. In a nutshell, AI content moderation offers visual content screening and filtering at scale, full legal compliance, protection of content moderators, multilingual moderation, and an unseen level of productivity. 

While the most known field where content moderation is king is social media, its uses are numerous. Dating platforms, travel booking websites, gaming platforms, all types of online marketplaces and ecommerce, fashion apps and websites, video platforms, forums and communities, educational platforms, networking websites, and messaging apps — this is just a short list of the applications that content moderation has today. 

Unleash the Power of Image Recognition for Your Business 

With its solid pioneering role in image recognition, Imagga has been the trusted partner of all types of companies in integrating the capabilities of machine learning algorithms in their workflows.

Want to learn how you can boost your business performance and tools with image recognition? Get in touch with us to explore our ready and tailor-made solutions for image tagging, categorization, visual search, face recognition, and more.