Yahoo Acquires Image-Recognition Startup IQ Engines To Improve Flickr Photo Organization & Search

[TechCrunch]

Oh, so you thought Yahoo’s acquisition spree was over? Not even close. A Yahoo spokesperson has confirmed that the revitalized web giant has snapped up yet another company — this time it’s an image-recognition startup called IQ Engines.

Yahoo has declined to disclose the terms of the deal, but the IQ Engines team confirmed in a statement on its website that they have been tapped to join the Flickr team where they will work on “improving photo organization and search for the community.”

IQ Engines first made a splash back in 2010 when it snapped up $1 million in funding for crafting an API that would allow its customers (think online retailers and app developers) to provide a visual search engine of sorts that could automatically categorize images on the fly. It later appeared at that year’s DEMO Conference, where our own Alexia Tsotsis picked it as one of the show’s most impressive startups.

Eventually, the startup would come to maintain two APIs. The first was called SmartCamera, and it was geared mostly toward retailers who wanted users to interact with products and brand logos by scanning them with their smartphone cameras. The other API, SmartAlbum, allows for photo analysis and facial recognition for online photo albums and mobile apps — if I were a betting man, I’d wager this is the bit Yahoo is really after.

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