Berkeley, CA (PRWEB) June 23, 2010
IQ Engines, Inc. today announced it has secured $1 million in a Series A financing. The company plans to use the capital to support the public launch of its any-image recognition engine, an application programming interface (API) that enables retailers, handset manufacturers, wireless carriers, and application developers to build visual search, image labeling, and augmented reality applications for mobile phones. The IQ Engines any-image recognition API is now available via the company's new developer portal at http://developer.iqengines.com.
The company also announced today that it has received a $119,000 research grant from the National Institute of Health, which will be used to support further development of its any-image recognition engine's ability to provide accessibility tools to assist the vision-impaired, and a $200,000 supplement to its SBIR Phase II grant from the National Science Foundation to advance the development of 3D object representations for visual search.
"I believe that visual search powered by IQ Engines' any-image recognition technology will change the way that people use mobile devices," said David Austin, a former Apple Inc. executive who joined the IQ Engines Board of Directors in conjunction with the financing. "During my 17 years with Apple, our goal was to make every interaction with the computer elegant and intuitive, and IQ Engines shares that goal. Using the camera for search just makes sense -- we're surrounded by visual information all the time and now IQ Engines makes it simple for people to use that information to find what they're looking for. What could be more natural?"
IQ Engines has also used its own API to develop oMoby, a visual search application for the iPhone, as a showcase for its technology. oMoby, available for free on Apple's iTunes App Store, uses the iPhone's camera and Internet connection to search for shopping information and other relevant results. First released in March, oMoby has already generated thousands of downloads and will receive a significant update in July to provide an improved user interface and enhanced functionality.
“What really sets IQ Engines and oMoby apart from others in this space is that we start from a belief that visual search needs to work every time in order to be useful," said Gerry Pesavento, IQ Engines' co-founder and CEO. "The IQ Engines any-image recognition engine uses a unique, patent-pending combination of computer vision and crowdsourcing to ensure that virtually 100% of images are identified. Easy searches will return a result in seconds, whereas really challenging searches will take a few moments -- but in all cases, our any-image model ensures you'll always get a relevant answer. Nobody else can do this."
The IQ Engines any-image recognition technology was designed to be flexible and highly scalable. Customers develop applications to submit photos to the API, and in seconds an accurate description is returned, which can be used to search any data source for relevant results. Numerous retailers, comparison-shopping sites, hardware manufacturers, wireless carriers, and software developers have been successfully testing a preview of the IQ Engines any-image recognition API over the past several months, with several of their iPhone and Android applications built using the technology slated for release in the coming months.
Retailers, handset manufacturers, wireless carriers, and software developers interested in adding visual intelligence to their mobile applications can learn more about the IQ Engines any-image recognition API and sign up for access at http://developer.iqengines.com.
About IQ Engines
IQ Engines powers visual search applications for our customers through our platform-independent any-image recognition engine. Unmatched in its use of a unique combination of computer vision and crowdsourcing, the company's API is able to recognize and describe virtually any image, and it learns from experience, getting smarter with every search. Founded as a collaboration of computational neuroscientists at UC Berkeley and UC Davis, the IQ Engines team possesses unparalleled expertise in image recognition. The company's goal is to bring visual intelligence to every camera in the world. IQ Engines is based in Berkeley, California.
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