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!


Imagga @ Telerik Hackathon

Georgi Presenting @ Telerik Hackathon

After the exciting news of Telerik being acquired for over $260M last week it feels extremely exciting to report Imagga's API partnership at Telerik Hackathon. Being part of developer events like that reminds us of why we actually do what we do. Feels rewarding.

Imagga APIs help developers to quickly master any image data and extract meaning with the speed of light. Uses are numerous - you can extract color information and implement color search, classify images in predefined set of categories, extract keyword tags out of not annotated photos, even get the system learn from user feedback and improve  the recall.

Telerki Hackathon

Georgi presented Imagga API's during the opening of the hackathon. Over 200 eager developers got excited about the awesome ideas they were about to build during the weekend. Three of the formed teams requested access to the API and it was our pleasure to walk the teams through the APIs.

Being part of Telerik Hackathon perfectly aligns with what we at Imagga intend to do. Reaching out to the dev community is important part of our strategy to make image recognition mainstream and showcase how Imagga technology can be used to solve real world problems and help harness big amounts of visual data that bombards us on a daily basis.


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!


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.

 


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


Blitline Integrates Imagga Auto Tagging

Imagga Auto Tagging Blitline

Super happy to announce our magical Auto Tagging API has been integrated into the Blitline image processing platform! Besides smart cropping, now Blitline offers to its customers the ability to add meaning to the images in a fast and convenient manner.

Integration is quite easy if you are already familiar with Blitline. You will be surprised how good results are, at least this is what initial users of the service state! It’s Imagga’s machine learning core that does the job, not some mechanical turk guys reviewing and manually annotating your images. So your privacy is kept and you are getting the job done faster than any army of keywording specialists can do.

Some of the tags that Imagga’s Auto-tagging API returns are far from perfect, but we are constantly working to improve the algorithms and broaden what we know about the world represented in images. The system is currently trained for the most common types of objects and concepts and we add more constantly. If it’s not working well with your set of images, we can train the system for your specific needs, simply contact us here and we’ll be happy to help.

If curious what the Imagga Auto-tagging API can do for you and your untagged photos, give it a try here and share your feedback with us.


Apollo App Uses Imagga APIs to Help People Get Current Imagery from Places of Interest

Apollo App

Photo hack days are great fun and we are always surprised by the creativity and sometimes crazy ideas hackers have. Even though we were not physically present this time.

The runner up for Imagga API award was team Apollo, named after NASA’s Project Apollo, which gave us the first images of man walking on the moon.

"Our team began with the premise that mainstream photo sharing is characteristically narcissistic. As photo sharers, we often tie our own self-worth to attributions of our digital self. If we could make photo sharing altruistic, there's a chance that an entirely new set of content would be created", shares Joe, one of the guys behind the idea.

On AirBnB, public attraction and school websites we see polished images that sometimes do not correspondent with the current conditions of the place. Quite disappointing to head to a well deserved vacation just to discover your hotel hasn’t been renovated the last decade and the photos based on which you booked are heavily photoshopped.

The solution allows users to request a photo from other users that are currently present in a specific location. All users in that location would then receive a notification requesting a photo, and all of the photos for a given location are respectively tagged and stored in an image database.

Apollo Team presenting at Photo Hack Day NYC
Apollo Team presenting at Photo Hack Day NYC

Photos are curated by location (utilizing FourSquare's places API) using both user requested photos and those from existing content sources (e.g. ShutterStock, Behance, FourSquare). Imagga image recognition API was used for photo tagging and Twilio was implemented to make a photo request via SMS.

As a hypothetical use case, think of a prospective college student that wants to obtain a more realistic view into dorm life at the universities they’re considering. The student could request photos from dorm room locations at their target schools and current students share a photo of their room. It can also be used for inspirational purposes - say your are organizing a party at a hall and want to see how other organizers used the space and to get ideas for your own party.

"Imagga’s image recognition API quickly became a huge asset to us as we built out Apollo, enabling our team to intuitively apply relevant tags to the photos that comprised our image database.”

You can find more detail about Apollo App on Challenge Post.

We are really looking forward to see how the idea unfolds and becomes a real project.

There are thousands of ideas that Imagga API can help you make reality. Sign up for Imagga API and start hacking for free (or send us a request for special startup discount for bigger API volume)


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!


The Ingredients of Startup Success

Long-term goals

Recently Georgi wrote a post on startup math and shared some really valuable insights on the power of entrepreneurial mind. You can read his original post in his blog, but here, I want to summarize and elaborate a bit more on the lessons learned.

You can be better in doing business and research than bigger companies

The common perception is that if a well established, resourceful company is tackling a problem, a startup can't really outperform and thus needs to pivot.

To be able to do that startupers need to be really dedicated. Startup business is like sports. There are people that can coach you, but you need to do the exercises, you need to get early in the morning and run, eat healthy, rest enough so you have the power to perform.

Your hobby is your startup and your spare time is actually filled with activities connected to your project. There's nobody that will do that research for you, or will summarize these scientific papers so you can hack straight away. You need to find ways and time to fill in the blanks. Grit is required to do so. A recent study shows that people with grit are more likely to succeed. It's not your IQ, nor social intelligence or physical health. Grit is passion and perseverance for very long-term goals, sticking with what you want to achieve, working on it 24/7 until you see if fulfilled. Grit is not a week or a month of full commitment, it's working really really hard to make the vision reality.

Pareto in Full Power - 80% of the effects come from 20% of the causes

Georgi puts it this way:

And this is one of the best and most romantic and revolutionary things about startups – you must be extremely resourceful! And Pareto is on your side here – with five times less resources you can still achieve 80% of the result, of course only if you are smart/intuitive/customer-oriented enough to figure out exactly which 20% to go after.

Startups need to focus on things that really matter, work on the MVP of their product, use the most effective marketing and sales channels to be able to put things together. It's not so easy to find that winning 20% but it's possible.

Every Hour Counts

Whatever you do, should be done with the presumption it will be helpful to advance your startup.  Yes, you need to sacrifice lots of fun activities - going out with friends, playing games, TV, etc. It's like being on the war front. If you are not there on you post watching out, somebody will take over the land. That doesn't mean you've become startup slave, chained to your startup, no pleasures whatsoever. Remember, what you drives you is your vision, your believe you changing the world, providing better product, service for the others. It's like the first faze of love relationship - you want to spend every second with your beloved, you call him 3 AM in the morning just to tell her how much you love her.

Now, have some fun and go back to what you are supposed to do to see you startup blossoming. I promise, it will be worth it.