Software test company, TestPlant has released, EggPlant, a product that it claims greatly speeds up the testing process by allowing a system to be tested by another computer. The company has also taken out a US patent for the process, in recognition of the unique approach said the company.

The product works by allowing EggPlant to 'see' the screen on the system under test recognising icons, buttons, message boxes, prompts, text, backgrounds and colours. By creating a visual depiction of the screen, eggPlant can intelligently search and compare while signalling test success or failure.

EggPlant enables testing to be carried out without the need for human intervention, which could flawed when it comes to dealing with a large number of repetitive tasks. EggPlant uses intelligent image-recognition algorithms to 'see' the screen on the system being tested and can pass or fail the version being tested.

The award of a US patent is an endorsement of the innovative nature of the product, said George Mac, CEO of TestPlant. "This is the first example in years that a complete and current product in the $2.4bn global test tool marketplace has been recognised by the US Patent and Trademark Office as being sufficiently novel and innovative to deserve this distinction. It's a great demonstration of our leadership and technical expertise in a market that many consider dominated by giants such as HP, IBM, Micro Focus and Microsoft.