Faster & Better Image Tagging

Image Auto tagging

Dealing with images is still complicated and time consuming process. You never take the time to organize that vacation photos or add tags to your growing image collection. We can do that automatically for you thanks to our auto-tagging technology. There are two ways if we want to do it really fast – to get more powerful machines or to speed up the algorithms responsible for this. Actually we did both, but lets pay some attention to our improved image tagging algorithms. Tagging is faster than ever!

GPU comes to help image recognition and thanks to it we are able to do things impossible (or ridiculously expensive) several years ago. We just ported all components of our tagging to take advantage of GPU acceleration and the result is about 5 times faster tagging! GPU is a bliss for image intensive technologies as ours. Actually the biggest portion of the time we need  for tagging an image now  is used for retrieving the image to be tagged.

With significantly faster tagging API now we can handle even larger image volumes and this can be done simultaneously for hundreds of users. Real time tagging is made very attractive and we are already testing with several clients.

Intrigued how fast the tagging is now? Why don’t you sing up now and test it yourself!

New Classes in Tagging Classifier

Imagga Auto Tagging

We’ve recently released Imagga Auto-tagging API and there’s serious interest in using the technology.  With auto-tagging now it’s possible to automatically assign meaningful tags to any picture collection, no human intervention whatsoever. As any technology where machine learning is involved, there’s a lot of room for improvements and tweaking the algorithms  so they give best results in most of the cases.

Recognizing as many different objects and concepts as possible is very important for us. We are constantly adding more classes so our tagging classifier gets better and better. In our latest update we’ve added over 250 popular keywords that we found out were missing in the previous version.

You should definitely give it a try and let us know what you think. Sign up for access to the API here –  Any feedback is welcome.

Imagga @ Seedhack lifelogging hackathon

Georgi SeedHack Imagga

Copyright @seedcamp

It has become a good tradition to take part in Seedhack hackatons. This is our 3rd one as API partner and we can’t be more happy to support and learn from events like that.

This time the theme was lifelogging (previous themes were hacks for fashion and remixing content) and gathered around 100 eager hackers on Friday night. The lifelogging topic is still under-explored but there’s a lot of promise, especially with giants like Apple and Samsung investing heavily in not just software but hardware to advance this trend.

Friday night is exciting for the partners of the event – they get their 5 min on stage to present what they have in store for the event. Facebook did present their back-end platform Parse, PayPal – integration options including BrainTree, and Georgi from Imagga our new and hot API for automated image tagging along with the powerful image categorization API.

The rest of the event by tradition belongs to the hackers itself. 17 teams have been formed and got their hands dirty on solving world problems. It’s alway awesome to meet and talk with minds so bright. About 15 people came to talk about our APIs and different ideas they have either for the hackathon, or about something else they do in their jobs or projects.

It’s amazing how much people are able to achieve in 48 hours when they work focused on a problem and collaborate in a team. So much you need to consider – get the right people on the team, with good moral and excellent skills, quickly pass through the technology stack, feature list discussions and start hacking, then validate your ideas, pivot and validate again, talk to people, incorporate their feedback, ignore some, hack more, prepare a deck, rehearse it, get pumped for the public presentation, win.   The team that used our auto-tagging was Snipik – social review blogging platform. The winner of the hackathon is Calrity – “a smart calendar client that understands your context, gives you insight into how you spend your time and seamlessly organizes your future” – amazing progress implementing a complete prototype in just two days. They’ve also wrote an amazing blog post for Seedhack unveiling the whole experience during the event.

One of our favorite teams, Dev Stats won the special prize. Dev Stats is a keystroke counter plug-in for Sublime (Nike+ like tracker for programmers, geeks and nerds ;) They also won the “most likely to catch you slacking at work” award.

Some funny awards followed. The “dirty dancing” award went to Motion perfect – Kinect-based software to detect your fitness moves and help you control the quality of your workout. The “Tony Stark award” for highest achievements of a one-man army went to Popular – logging your offline social life. The “most likely to wake up a sleeping baby” presentation award went to Mr. Zen – advice from voice based mood logging.

Hackathons are one of the best type of startup events to attend and also partner. You meet with awesome people, movers and doers, get inspired and go home with hope and urged to move things faster in your own company. Definitely will be attending some more hackathons. See you there!

Parrots and the rainy days at Imagga

Parrot visiting Imagga's office

It’s summer like no other. Weather has been crazy for the last couple of months. Sofia fills like it’s hidden somewhere in the rainforest. It’s happening over and over again – late afternoon showers, couple of times with hail.

Some people say rainy days are good for a day off with a nice book. Well, at Imagga we do that, but with our Macbooks (and several Windows machines). Weather can be inspiring, even for startups – to learn and work harder. Specially when you have two roof windows at your office. And parrots pay a special visit!

Tinder, Tigers, and… Tagging

It’s sometimes striking how fast some crazy ideas go viral nowadays… and the tiger selfies on Tinder :) make no exception, going far enough to escalate to the attention of the New York State Assembly.

Funny (or not), taking selfies with tigers, and eventually using them as profile pictures, is not allowed in NY any more, unless you want to pay the $500 fine for a few seconds of glory.

Being an image recognition company, especially focused on auto-tagging, it seems to us like a piece of cake to detect if there is a tiger on the image! Here is an example:

 

Tinder, Tigers, Tagging

Tinder, tigers, and tagging

You can see the sample test here and upload/paste a tiger selfie (not yours of course) to try it out.

And this could be used via API access by Tinder to warn users… or by the state assembly to detect them ;)

Just another (weird) validation how widespread image recognition could be nowadays… In any types of apps and use-cases, as images are becoming the ultimate way to communicate and express ourselves so easily, thanks to the cameras in our pockets.

Have an awesome idea that would greatly benefit from automated image tagging? Just sign up for free here and give our auto-tagging API a try.

Imagga @ LDV Vision Summit

Imagga @ LDV Vision Summit in NCY
The LDV Vision Summit brought  together world’s top imaging technologists, visionaries and investors to share and shape the future of image and video recognition technologies.

Organized by Evan Nisselson, LDV Capital the summit was held in NYC to showcase how imaging and video technologies are empowering and disrupting the our day to day life and global businesses.

Visual web is upon us. Images and video are starting to dominate all web channels we are collecting data and impressions from. It’s not just the digital cameras and smart phones, but also drones equipped with cameras that will basically record and archive important moments.  This will  eventually enable us to take part in moments, conversations and event we couldn’t attend or be physically present.

The advance in GPU power, machine learning algorithms, well labeled data and some magical tricks implemented by various researchers and startups working on image recognition will eventually create new ways of exploring the visual web  - collection of personal and common image and video experiences.

It was exciting to see Georgi presenting Imagga on stage of LDV Vision Summit as one of thoroughly selected startups developing image recognition products and services. On stage were as well  Eugenio from  teradeep,  Alex from visiosafe  and Chris from TAG Optics. Quite good company. Some of the exciting lectures at the event were Camers – Video, Still & Wearable with panelists Martin Kallstrom from Narrative and Flo Meissner from EyeEm. The panel on Recent Progress in Computer Vision using Deep Learning with Rob Fergus from Facebook artificial intelligence lab was also quite interesting as it tackled the technology challenges we are facing with Imagga’s image recognition technologies. The Future of Image Recognition discussion session with Serge Belongie from Cornell NYC Tech,  Gary Bradski from Magic Leap and Moshe Bercovich, Shutterfly set the trends for the next couple of years and was followed Trends in Visual Communications Technology from the investor’s perspective with the awesome Om Malik from  True Ventures and Evan Nisselson.

Imagga’s automated tagging technology is what we consider groundbreaking and with huge potential to contribute to the change we perceive image  content in the near feature. According to KPCB Internet Trends 2014 report over 1.8 billion photos are uploaded and shared on a daily basis. Most of image date is not properly keyworded or not tagged at all. Memories are stored in archives, in the best case somewhere in the cloud. Exploring this visual records of our lives, interactions, personal encounters and important moments will be of key importance in the years to come. Using machine learning and super smart image analysis, technologies like our tagging API will be able to bring back the meaning to important moments, shorten the time we dig for them, automatically highlight the best quality content and feature significant events.

Beside the imaging summit, being in NYC is always exciting, especially for image intensive business like Imagga’s. So many of our current customers are headquartered in NYC, so couple of extra days were well spent on biz dev meetings. Thanks to the summit we’ve got quite valuable new prospects and couple of partners.

 

Free consultancy hours with the image organization pros

Office Hacking @ Imagga

We are happy to announce a new initiative starting effectively tomorrow – free office hours every Friday form 3 to 5 PM GMT, where we’ll consult image-intensive companies and startups on how to better handle, organize or monetize huge amounts of photos.

It’s not limited to the search, cropping and categorization solutions of Imagga. We are here to help and will be completely open and honest on what solutions (Imagga’s, or others’) may work best for you.

If you’ve already realized you have problems or missed opportunities with image content, make sure to reserve a slot! We have a total of four 30 minutes slots for Skype call, Google hangout or in person meeting in our office every Friday, allocating them on a first come first served basis!

Ping us via email api (at) imagga (dot) com or via tweet to @imagga by Friday morning GMT every week and we’ll be happy to chat!

Photo Hack Day Japan – Imagga Prize

Photo Hack Day Japan

It’s exciting to take part in photo hackatons. We’ve been to several during 2013 – Photo Hack Day Berlin, Photo Hack Day Melno Park, SeedHack in London to name a few. This time we were not present physically but that did not prevent people from using Imagga APIs.

Over 120 hackers and supporters gathered on Feb 22-23rd at Mixi’s office for an awesome hacking experience. Sponsors of the event were Mixi, Shutterstock, gettyimages, 500px, Leap Motion, Amazon, Mashup9, Recruit, EyeEm, Pux, XLoudia, Sendgrid, Zenrin, FlashFoto and Adobe and we at Imagga are quite happy to be listed among this great innovative companies.

As any serious hackathon it all starts with opening remarks of the organizers and API partners presentations just to be followed by the creative chaos of team formation, idea generation and hacking over lots of fried rice, shushi (it’s Japan after all) but also coffee, tea and beer. It’s great fun and we were a bit jealous we’re not physically present.

Photo Hack Day Japan work

23 teams have been formed and were judged based on originality of the idea, overall value of the application and technical achievement. The tree overall winners of the hackathon are:

  • Back to the Future – visual learning app that allows you to “walk through time” via an interactive interface.

  • Before the filter – Android app that teaches would-be photographers the fundamentals of Photography

  • VOCA Getty – innovative photo dictionary app that uses images sourced from Getty Images to help users learn a language visually. The team used Imagga APIs.

We were excited that 3 teams actually activated, reviewed and used Imagga APIs during the event.

photo tagging

Our special $2299 in credits prize goes to  Imagic Workbench, a smart keywording tool which employs object recognition technologies to automatically keyword your photos. Imagic Workbench is a project of TT and Nego and we really hope they will follow up and make an awesome product for image tagging.

Stay tuned for our next hackathon participation, it’s fun!

Interested to try our auto-categorizatiom? – signup for a free account at our Playground

What we are after in 2014 – democratizing machine learning as a service and applying it in practice

2013 was such an exciting year for us! We partnered multiple photo-related hackathons (Seedhack 3Startup Weekend Mobile Sofia and Photo Hack Day Menlo ParkPhoto Hack Day BerlinSeedhack 4; plus one more coming in a less than two weeks – Photo Hack Day Tokyo!) and created a lot of friends there.

We also closed our seed round from LAUNCHub and several angel investors, extended our team with two great software engineers, visited several leading industry and technology conferences (Tech Crunch Disrupt BerlinWeb Summit DublinMicroStock Expo BerlinleWeb Paris), and made a major leap in our core technology:

Auto-categorization of images for different use-cases

Auto-categorization of images for different use-cases

We on-boarded new customers and partnered with two great image processing and management services – Blitline and Cloudinary that now offer our smart cropping as part of their feature sets (the latter, still in private beta).

Now 2014 has already come, and it’s time to roll out several awesome products, enabled by our recent technology advancements. There is a huge hype around A.I. and machine learning these days. But for us this isn’t just a hype… it’s what we’ve been working on hard in the last year. And we want to bring this to the people (and start-ups, and companies), empowering them to take advantage of machine learning for better understanding and organization of their imagery in the easiest possible way.

We are aiming to keep the lean/iterative approach so we’ll definitely rely on your active feedback, ideas, and inclusion in the process. Happy to share that we already have multiple successful pilots with customers taking advantage of our machine-learning-based auto-categorization, as in the example image above, and some more customers in the pipeline. Now it’s your turn! If you are interested in auto-categorization and you think it can help your image-centric businesses or projects (and believe me, it will help them for sure) give a try to our auto-categorization “playground”.

Mobile is also going to be bigger and bigger and this is something we are definitely interested in as the development of our smart photo organization app Sliki proves. Sliki was recently selected to join the AppCampus programme so we’ll release it on Windows Phone first (which is a great platform for development BTW), but we also conduct some closed tests on Android. Sign up here and we’ll keep you updated on how Sliki goes. Funny enough, the (hardware-enabled) future seems bright even for complex computer vision on mobile as explained in this video.

All in all, It’s a really exciting journey and you are more than welcome to join it as an advisor, investor, employee, partner, customer or just a friend :)

Imagga @ Photo Hack Day Japan

Photo Hack Day Japan

Imagga continues to take part in hackathons. It’s in our DNA and it’s one of the best ways to show support for the photo hacking communities all over the world. This time Photo Hack Day 5 hackathon will take place far far away of where we are. Japan is exciting place for tech events not only for the level of tech penetration but also for the thriving creative community engaged in visual arts.

Thanks to our friends from Aviary we will be partnering Photo Hack Day, that will take place on February 21-23 at Mixi Headquarters in Tokyo. Hackers will be able to play with Imagga API’s and specially with the recently announced Imagga Auto-categorization API.

It’s too bad we will not be able to make it in person for the great event, that’s why we produced short video that describes what we do and how exciting Imagga APIs are.

Here are some ideas on how Imagga APIs can be used:

  • Our brand new auto-categorization API can be used for personal photo sorting. But you can also train your own categorizer to recognize particular types of objects or scenes or even moods depending on the use-case. Let say you want to build a Pinterest like site but for cool products, manually crafted locally. In most of the cases you will be able to scrap the photos from personal blogs, artist online shops but they might not be well structured and organized. You can train the with selected product categories our APIs and then all photos will be automatically recognized and placed in the relevant category.
  • you can create some nice looking retrospective photo album with the photos smartly cropped, something like a better version of the Facebook Look Back video, but without bodies and faces cut in half
  • what is your favorite color app that can detect your favorite colors from the clothes that you wear or things you posses
  • detecting mood by color, or suggesting music by color apps

We will award $2 300 in Imagga API usage for the best use of our APIs and $400 in API usage for all teams who make use of them during the hackathon.

You might also have great ideas about possible implementation of Imagga APIs. Let us know about your idea and we will be helping out with any technical challenges you might have.