Imagga Appointed One of the Eight Digital Champions of the UN’s Award for Digital Innovation With Social Impact

Chris at WSA16

We are happy to announce Imagga was awarded a very special prize - being one of the 8 global champions of the World Summit Awards. Imagga is overall winner in the Media & News category.

The 8 WSA Global Champions are excellent example of how digital innovation can make a true social impact and solve important issues on both local and global scale. WSA acknowledges pioneering innovation in the field of digital content and aims to bring visibility to projects that can create sustainable social change and impact world-wide.

WSA Imagga Presentation

During the 3 days Congress in Singapore, the selected best of digital start-ups, young entrepreneurs and distinguished experts from around the globe met to learn from each other. The congress speakers shared outstanding examples and insights of how digital technologies drive the United Nations agenda for the Sustainable Development Goals (UN SDG’s).

WSA Winners

On-site Grand Jury of 40 international ICT experts at the WSA Social Innovation Congress carefully selected the 8 WSA Global Champions.

It was super exciting to take part at the congress and meet innovators from all over the world. You rarely have the chance to spend quality time with group so diverse - UN and government officials, locals and expats, young and bright minds involved in amazing community and tech projects.

Chris was on stage the second day to showcase Imagga and how we are changing the way people handle digital images. It was awesome to see both jury and people in the room excited about the practical applications of Imagga’s image recognition technology. It’s always good indicator of your stage performance when people have questions, share ideas how you can improve it or just want to meet and talk to you.

Champion Moment

The whole WSA experience was amazing. Besides weather being too humid and hot for the European taste, having an opening party by the hotel pool with amazing view to the city, listening to world class speakers during the congress, being served the best food Singapore can offer, and having the best and friendliest event organizers, we can boldly state WSA in Singapore was the coolest event we’ve attended.

Asia is a great market for technologies such as ours. Being there for such short time validated what we already knew - we need to spend more time and efforts to help companies from the region deal with and monetize better their digital content. We are in love with Asia and coming soon to do more business there.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=S1o_Q7m3jTc

 

free image recognition with imagga


Imagga Wins Porsche Hackathon

Hackathons are part of Imagga’s DNA - we love to hack and we definitely like to win. Porsche InnovationEngine hackathon took place in Salzburg, Austria on 8-10 June 2016. 12 teams all across Europe participated. We are happy to announce we won 1st prize but here’s a short report about this great event.

There were three tracks for the teams to complete - car recognition, financial optimization, the best car for me. It’s quite obvious we’ve decided to participate in the car recognition challenge.

Every great hackathon should start with nice dinner, and that’s what happened Friday night. As you can imagine we’ve been busy drafting the hack idea, meeting mentors and doing the actual hack. Literary we used the time and available napkins (great startup weapon to remember awesome ideas) to craft our winning strategy.

No surprise the next day we’ve digged straight into building our brilliant idea. Some mentors interrupted the process, but their insight on the car market was quite valuable. We’ve worked hard till midnight as we wanted to impress the jury with fully functional app including custom classification that was trained overnight.

Georgi presents at Porsche hackathon

During the final day of the hackathon we presented in front of 40 managers and 3 C-level executives (incl. the CEO) of Porsche Holding Group. Our demo went really smooth and all were impressed with the technology and that we were actually able to put together fully functional demo in such a short time.

Getting the first prize was such an honor and also an opportunity to work in that space - car discovery & search. Not to forget one of the perks winning Porsche hackathon - Audi Driving Experience! Looking forward to it!


Imagga @ GPU Technology Conference

GPU Technology Conference organized by NVIDIA is one of the best events for the GPU related industries. Artificial Intelligence invades by storm all technology fields and becomes a frontrunner for innovation. This year GTC16 showcased that by focusing on deep learning, virtual reality and self-driving cars. Over 5000 engineers, scientists and entrepreneurs had the chance to hear from the best on the field and learn about the great advancements in terms of hardware and software. NVIDIA announced some really impressive hardware like the Tesla P100 and the NVIDIA DGX-1 (the world’s first deep-learning supercomputer powered by 8 cards that can speed up training times by over 12x). We are definitely going to consider it for our machine learning infrastructure in the foreseeable future.

Imagga was selected to present at the Machine Learning track about the practical use-cases for image classification and tagging. We’ve hand-picked a few particular and somehow diverse use-cases among the hundreds of companies and thousands of developers using the Imagga platform.

GTC16 Georgi Kadrev on stage

To give you a glance of the use cases we’ve used for our presentation, let's mention a few:

 

Unsplash used Imagga auto-tagging to reduce manual tagging of their amazing free stock photo offering and to enhance the search capabilities.

KIA Motors for quete precise user profiling based on Imagga’s auto-tagging and color extraction.

Tavisca for building custom trainer to automated categorization of over 25M hotel related photos.

Seoul National University for generating custom classifier for waste pre-sorting.

More than just showcasing, the aim of our presentation was to inspire people,  to give them an idea how image recognition technology can be a game changer for industries that traditionally have been dependant on manual curation of image content.

It was amazing to see the audience involved in the subject, following up with question about the presented cases, as well as their own potential cases. We had the chance to meet existing and potential partners at the conference and to extend our network.

The organization was great and everything went quite smoothly. Thanks NVIDIA for the opportunity to be on stage and talk about the amazing product we are building with love from Bulgaria. We are looking forward to the next edition.


Imagga @ Food Hacks Berlin

We are super thrilled to be part of Food Hacks Berlin, organized by HackerStolz. The idea of the hackathon is to find digital ideas that can revolutionize the food industry. Food delivery process has seen lots of innovation in recent years, but it’s obvious there’s so much that can be done: better services related to what we consume daily, smart apps that automate the burden of manual calories intake and many more.

Over 100 participants from 20 countries hacked in Rainmaking Loft, one of the well known startup destinations in Berlin. It’s inspiring to see so many motivated hackers with various experience in so many industries. One of the reasons we love hacker events in Berlin is the amazing mix of talent and the diversity of the participants. There was a group of bright Ukrainians that travel by bus over 12 hours, people from Poland, Holland, UK, Switzerland to name a few.Imagga Girls

Imagga was an API partner at the event. We’ve trained two special categorizers to help developers get the best out of our image recognition technology and to make sure they build amazing apps - meal classifier that can recognize over 300 cooked meals and food & veggies classifier.

Chris presented Imagga API at a dedicated workshop, talking about how you can use Imagga API to recgnize pictures of meals, fruites and veggies.

Amazing apps have been build during the weekend - from smart fridge that can find out what food is aging and needs to be thrown away and reordered to some quite creative ways to use food:

Neighborhood Cuisine - A mobile app that lets you get together with your neighbors to cook tasty recipes from your leftovers.

HelloFridge - the easiest way to save your ingredients from going bad by combining them to fit delicious recipes.

iTrash - the most intelligent trash can in the world

Surprise Meal - Provides surprise ideas for recipes.

Bulker - Early-morning bakery delivery that loves you

Super Quest - Food AR app for basic food education of children

Mint - A unique way to discover a new culture through music, art and food.

Vollkorntoast - New Shopping Experience

rcply - Search for recipes based on ingredients you already have at home

lekkerlekker - Your one stop shop for finding the best recipes and directly buy alls groceries you need.

VR-ify - Efficient food testing and prototyping process with VR and brain activity scanner

TraceYourFood - See the journey of the food you consume!

KeineWaste - KeineWaste connects food businesses and volunteers in real-time, converting food waste into food donations.

WTF: What the FOOD - So you'll never run out of müsli again.

Food-Sherlock

Our favorite hack is Food Sherlok, developed by Team Baker Street ;-) Food Sherlok lets you take a photo of any ingredient and gives your nutrition details, recipe suggestions and the possibility to buy it online. The mobile app utilizes Imagga API for the image recognition part, Spoonacular API for the nutrition details and HellowFresh API for the recipe suggestions and possible food delivery.

Here you can find the code of the hack.

Team Baker Street

Imagga prize - GoPro camera, t-shirts and free API access went to Team Baker Street for their incredible work and valuable feedback.

“Getting an idea took some time, so the first hours we decided on an idea, but it took another hour until it was clear for me what I had to do and how it should look like. Uploading the image and resizing it on the frontend was also harder than I thought, just because some of the APIs expect form data for images."

You can’t do much for the limited time of the hackathon, but the team is already making some bold plans for Food Sherlock. They think it will be quite useful if they can generate location based sate for retailers, work on improving the image recognition service with data specific for different geographic locations, experiment with new ways to visualize the results (may be adding something like search heat map overlay) and offer text to speech recognition to make sure refugees can also use the app.


Analyzing Text and Images: Webinar

Webinar S4 Imagga

Happy to announce an upcoming webinar together with our platform partners Ontotext. The webinar on Self-Service Semantic Suite (S4) will take place on Nov 12th (11am ET / 8am PT / 4pm GMT) featuring Ontotext CTO, Marin Dimitrov as well as a guest speaker Georgi Kadrev, CEO of Imagga.

S4 provides on demand access to text mining and linked open data technology in the cloud. Using the platform you can quickly and easily build smart data prototypes at a fraction of the cost of enterprise solutions.

Georgi (@imagga) of Imagga will be covering the newly available image analytics capabilities into  Ontotext’s Self-Service Semantic Suite (S4) platform. Thanks to powerful Imagga auto tagging & categorization API, S4 users will get more insights not just from the text but also from images on the web pages they need to analyze.

Marin (@marin_dim) from Ontotext will be covering some new exciting features of Ontotext Semantic Suite as improvements of the RDF graph database-as-a-service, new Python SDK for S4 as well as Product roadmap and new features currently in development.

Don’t miss the opportunity to learn about the Self-Service Semantic Suite (S4) – register for this event now!

 


Imagga among the 40 winners of UN-based World Summit Award 2015

Imagga @ World Summit Award

Imagga was selected as one of the winners of the World Summit Award, a global initiative in cooperation of the United Nations World Summit on the Information Society (WSIS) and UNESCO, UNIDO and UN GAID. WSA is the only ICT event worldwide, that reaches the mobile community in over 178 countries.

Imagga Image Recognition PaaS will be honored to receive the Award in e-Media & Journalism category in front of UN representatives, ICT ministries and the private sector at the World Summit Global Congress in Shenzhen, China, in February 2016.

“It’s extremely exciting to see two Bulgarian companies - Imagga (e-Media & Journalism category) and Bee Smart (e-Health and Environment category) as finalists of the World Summit Award 2015. Having two winning teams happens for the first time since Bulgaria participates in the prestigious award”, states Pavel Vurbanov, European Software Institute - Center Eastern Europe.

The 40 winners representing 24 countries were carefully selected from 386 nominations. The goal of the award is to showcase the world’s best practices in digital innovation - from Japan to Brazil and from Norway to Australia.

The WSA winners were selected by a jury of international ICT experts in two democratic rounds. Each UN Member State is eligible to nominate one product per category for the World Summit Award. This way any nomination results from a national pre-selection prior to the international WSA Jury.


Imagga Gets Big Players Award by HM King of Spain at South Summit 2015

Georgi Kadrev getting Tech for Big Players Award from HM Felipe VI, King of Spain
Georgi Kadrev getting Tech for Big Players Award from HM Felipe VI, King of Spain

Imagga was honored to get Tech for Big Players Award at South Summit 2015, that took place in Madrid, Spain. At the closing day HM Felipe VI, King of Spain himself awarded the finalists of the startup competition at the event and spent some time to talk with the winning companies. Out of the four startups being recognized at the event, Imagga is the only company that doesn't come from Spanish speaking country.

South Summit is the leading entrepreneurship event for the Spanish speaking world. Over 12,500 participants, 100 startups, 650  investors, 325 journalists и 275 speakers took place in the forum, held in the historic Las Ventas building - build in the beginning of 20 century and home of the famous bull fights. Special guest of the event was Steve Wozniak, co-founder of Apple together with Steve Jobs.

Imagga was one of the 100 carefully selected startups from 15 countries (3 companies in total from Bulgaria) and we competed in Tech for Big Players category (the other categories were; digital solutions for the mass market, healthcare and biotech, industrial revolution)

“Being able to stand and pitch on the very same arena famous for bullfighting actually raised the adrenalin and made the experience quite unique. It was great opportunity to meet fellow entrepreneurs, talk image recognition and AI, currently quite hot trends, and talk to investors and media”, shares Georgi Kadrev, co-founder and CEO of Imagga.

 

https://youtu.be/6UQirQBi2Jc?t=52m20s

Imagga's automated tagging is getting traction and we see great use cases and lots of business opportunities. South Summit opened up a new world of possibilities as we've never been that much focused on the Spanish speaking world, but we see it's big and interesting.

"I took some time to contemplate why I like this tree as a prize that much - it's not just because it was given by His Majesty the King of Spain and is the symbol of Madrid, but also as it is a very beautiful metaphor - it has been planted some time ago, and it took a while before it shows up above the ground. Now it's grown but it's still small and it still needs care until it grows and give some sweet fruits. I believe it's the same with our Imagga.", shares Georgi Kadrev

Being part of SouthSummit was fun and very rewarding. Thanks for inspiring us and at the same time acknowledging our efforts to democratize image recognition and make it useful for great variety of business use cases.


Imagga at Hack The Visual

Hack the Visual event in London. Shot for Canon Europe Ltd.
Hack the Visual event in London. Shot for Canon Europe Ltd.

During the last couple years we’ve been taking part in numerous hackathons and events. Hack The Visual was perfect fit for what we do at Imagga. The goal of the event is to connect different types of visual data to each other and create new and interesting prospective. All data is welcomed - pictures, music, video, geo-data, even open data, you name it. In just 48 hours over 100 participants were hacking on projects mashing existing APIs and data sets to find a solution for a real life visual problem.

The main challenge was to bring together photos, videos and other kind of imagery with hardware, interfaces, platforms, apps & services in order to unlock the next step in visual culture.

Tree main tracks have been set based on research by Imaging Mind (organizer of the event) regarding the future of imaging:

  • meshed capture - connecting multiple camera sources to generate new experiences. Winner: Camera Crowd - combining multiple photos and their location data with a photo of the area you are. A mesh of pictures from different sources blended into the space
  • new perspectives/interpretation of images - accessing various image data sets to extract value from them outside of the image itself. Winner: Hear The Picture - by linking each coloured pixel to its individual sound, a photo could be ‘heard’ through its own distinctive soundtrack
  • interactive visuals - reworking the static images into interactive new experience. Winner: Sharon - watch the same video source with multiple people, and allow synced manipulation of the video

Grand Prize went to Splatmap - web application that allows you to photograph buildings with your smartphone and plot the information into the application.

Hack the Visual event in London. Shot for Canon Europe Ltd.

The special Imagga API prize went to Remember - app that triggers your memories using your own photo collection. Re/Visit a place and Remember will remind you of pictures you or someone else snapped nearby. It can also search for relevant photos based on the topics in the photo (using Imagga’s image recognition tagging API), turning your photo library into a smart conversation starter wherever you might be.

Overall, great event! See you next time. And do not forget to give Imagga APIs a try!


Machine Learning Meetup in Sofia

ML Meetup Sofia

Three year ago when we publicly talked about machine learning, deep learning, convolutional neural networks and AI not many people were getting it. It was hard to explain what all this is about. Things have changed, and for good.

Last week we’ve invited a bunch of people to Machine Learning meetup. The first in Sofia. 60 people attended and it was awesome. It’s awesome to see so many people interested in AI and machine learning. And they were getting it. We are sure machine learning will be widely adopted in many tech verticals  in an year or so and are proud to be helping Bulgarian AI/ML community to exchange ideas and grow.

Judging by the number of people and cases that has been discussed, lots of startups are already exploring the power of machine learning in various industries - e-commerce, bitcoin landing, real estate, to mention few. It’s still the early days of ML community in Sofia, so we’ve started with some basics. Judging by the variety of the questions after our short intro presentation, next editions of Sofia Machine Learning Meetup will be quite geeky and interesting.


Imagga @ Machine Learning Event at SAP Labs Bulgaria

Georgi & Georgi presenting at SAP Labs Bulgaria

Machine learning is getting lots of attention lately. It’s amazing that some 200 people showed up at Hack Bulgaria event and stayed almost 3 hours to learn more about machine learning. Not to mention it was friday and the venue was not in the center of the city! It was a clear indication for us that lots of developers are getting curious about machine learning (ML) and that’s totally cool for companies like ours.

This is a short overview of our not so tech presentation about machine learning for images.  Some of the other lecturers have covered different aspects of ML and it’s application in various cases and industries.

From the moment of their invention the convolution networks were great for tasks as face detection and handwriting. Thanks to the advance of the GPU technology and the extended base of image data, the convolutional networks demonstrated far better results for complicated tasks such as visual classification of objects in images.

There are some specifics when it comes to image recognition using machine learning. Images are a matrix of pixels (raster data) and that’s why recognition is sensitive to lighting, contrast, saturation, blur, noise, geometric transformations (scaling, translation, rotation) and occlusion.

Machine Learning Meetup Sofia

Conventional image recognition methods struggle to find the optimal set of filters (convolutions) to apply for each specific use-case.

There are multiple levels and scales of interest, from low-level features such as texture to high-level features such as composition. On the top of that there’s a need for data-augmentation to compensate for sensitivity (e.g. training with blurred, cropped, scaled, noised versions of the images)

In order to do proper image analysis you will need huge (both deep and wide) architecture which requires massive amount of memory and processing power, made more accessible today via GPU empowered machines. It still takes a lot of time (up to 10 days) to train some large architectures.

There are a few implementations for convolutional neural networks.

  • cuda-convnet - python interface, c++/cuda implementation for convolutional neural networks, training using back-propagation method, fermi-generation nVidia GPU(GTX 4xx, GTX 5xx, or Tesla equivalent) is required, but no multi-GPU support
  • cuda-convnet2 - an upgrade to cuda-convnet, optimized for new kepler-generation nvidia gpus and added multi-gpu support
  • caffe - deep learning framework, developed by Berkeley Vision and Learning Center, big community of contributors, support for nVidia’s GPU accelerated convnet library - cudnn
  • torch7 - lua interface, with support for python, wide support for machine learning algorithms, one of the fastest implementation for convnet is a torch7 extension - fbcnn from facebook artificial intelligence research team; there are other extensions as well and a support for cudnn
  • theano - a python library, open-ended in terms of network architecture and transfer functions, slightly lower-level than the other implementations

We will be doing a series of articles in our blog on how image recognition is changing the paradigm and will allow image intensive business to finally better understand and monetize their image contents.

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