Yahoo! purchases image recognition company IQ Engines to make Flickr search better
posted Monday, August 26, 2013 at 12:55 PM EDT
The newest target of Yahoo!'s spate of acquisitions is IQ Engines, a startup devoted to image recognition and tagging. The company previously worked on producing a number of APIs for other companies to aid photo recognition. Now, a statement on IQ Engines' site says that they'll be joining the team at Flickr:
We are thrilled to announce that IQ Engines is joining the Flickr team at Yahoo!. As longtime Flickr fans and fellow photography enthusiasts, we look forward to working on improving photo organization and search for the community.
Prior to the acquisition, IQ Engines had two APIs available for companies looking to add image recognition to their bag of tricks. One was called SmartCamera, and let people take photos of brands or products in order to interact with them, and the other was SmartAlbum, which had face identification and auto tagging for photo albums. Unfortunately, IQ Engines has scrubbed its accounts off YouTube and Vimeo, so the demos of this technology aren't available anymore, but you can see some of it at a cached version of the company's site.
It's pretty obvious what Flickr's interest might be in this software. If used properly, it would be able to automatically tag your images as "sunset" or "macro" or "food", all allowing for far better search and organization. The API apparently also has facial recognition, something that Facebook has had under its belt for some time, which might improve the social side of image sharing on Flickr.