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Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Google Acquires Jetpac To Enhance Image Recognition And Processing Chops

Google has acquired Jetpac, a startup known for its image recognition and processing chops. Startup Jetpac build apps that recommends destinations based on analysis of publicly shared Instagram photos, which help travelers find the best places to check out while they’re in town, it can pulled specific items out of publicly available Instagram photos. It can also show your contextual search results from a database of social media posts.

Originally launched as a social travel guide on iPad but later shifted focus to its Instagram-driven data on its iPhone app, Jetpac has some serious technical chops and talents that Google will need. The startup was skilled in deep learning and image analysis, an area where Google has done plenty of work on. Deep learning involves training systems called artificial neural networks on lots of information derived from anywhere-audio, images, and other inputs, and then presenting the systems with new information and receiving inferences. It's probably the next big thing in search technology.

It still not clear what Google will do with JetPac's technology, but the New York-based startup has several technologies that could nicely fit with Google's priorities. Jetpac would definitely boost Google's search capabilities, it provides a unique contextual information about a certain area where the photo was taken, an information about what is actually happening in a certain location. It goes beyond anything- far more deeper than Yelp and even Google Maps when it comes to visual information.
Image credit: CNET

In addition, Jetpac has also achieved something big - a real-time local object recognition on video from a device's camera, this kind of technology could enhance Google Goggles' capabilities.

Jetpac raised a $2.4 million funding in 2012, its investors include Khosla Ventures, Morado Venture Partners and Yahoo's founder Jerry Yang.

Google declined to comment on the terms of the deal.

Jetpac will join Google Knowledge Team, Google's massive attempt to build a more sophisticated understanding of real world, Jetpac also offers two related image-recognition apps -Spotter and Deep Belief.

Image credit: CNET

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