New Bulgaria University: Computer Vision Technology Course

Since its foundation, Imagga has been striving to create the best possible image recognition technology. Meaning computer vision has been our core focus long before it became the $20 Billion industry it is 2018.

One of our goals is to give back to the community and captivate the young minds in Bulgaria, so together with New Bulgarian Univesity, we organized a course for the M.Sc students which has reached a record high in student satisfaction. The course focus is on understanding core computer vision technologies, building neuron networks and creating machine learning algorithms on a basic level. Thus allowing students to get an overall understanding of the skills and technology requirements to build an artificial intelligence project in 2018.

During the course, Imagga - CEO, Georgi Kadrev, covers image processing and analysis basics that every junior computer vision programmer should comprehend. Georgi is also a professor at Sofia University and has extensive background teaching. Because of it, he uses managed discussions for more advanced topics like machine learning, classification, and feature extraction. This allows him to build a course program where the knowledge of his students develops proportionately with each lesson.

Lectures are divided into two sections one been lead by Georgi Kadrev, CEO - Imagga, and the other by Georgi Kostadinov, Core Technology Lead – Imagga. This combination of mind allows the course to give both technological and business perspective for anybody who wishes to excel in the AI game.

Our goal is to inspire and make bright young students to use our Free API and build creative projects. For us, it is important that you share your project ideas and capitalize on them. This stimulating Bulgarian entrepreneurship and students inventing their own jobs rather than working on building somebody else's dream.

Imagga Announcement: Attending GPU Munich

GPU Technology Conference is the largest and most sought after event in Europe on the subject of AI, machine learning virtual reality and much more. It is the best place to connect with professionals in data science, image recognition, text analytics, autonomous and much more. This year our partners from Nvidia has decided to hold the event in Munich from 10-12 of October with an impressive agenda. Georgi Kadrev - CEO of Imagga is also going to be going on stage presenting our on-premise solution that was successfully launched with Swisscom.

In the EU data privacy is an issue address by many nations and over the past 5 years has been on the way of companies toward their goal to improve both processes and services. We are proud to announce that with the launch of on-premise image recognition Imagga is the only company in the sector that has that capability ready for implementation.

During the three days part of our team is going to be in Munich and if you would like to talk with any of them please book your time for a meeting. You can access their calendars through the links below. Please provide full contact details.

Georgi Kadrev - Chief Executive Officer

Ivaylo Pozharliev- Marketing Manager

Siyana Plachkova - Software Developer

Georgi Kostadinov - Core Technology Lead

Alexander Dimitrov - On-Premise Lead

Stavri Nikolov - Research Director


Available Now: Banknote Reader (b-reader) for Visually Impaired People

TOM (Tikkun Olam Makers) is a global movement of communities connecting makers, designers, developers and engineers with people with disabilities (aka – ‘Need-Knowers’) to develop technological solutions for everyday challenges. Designs are free and available for any user around the world to adapt for their needs! Tikkun Olam (Hebrew for “repair the world”) is a Jewish concept defined by acts of kindness performed to perfect or repair a world that is often imperfect.

Each TOM event takes 3 days in the form of a makeathon (hackathon for makers) during which teams of makers, designers and engineers work together to create a solution for a particular need knower, or a group of such people. TOM has started in Israel and more than 20 makeathons have been organized around the world in the last 3 years.

From 20 April to 23 April 2017 the first ever TOM makeathon in Europe was organized in Sofia, Bulgaria. TOM Bulgaria organized the event in Smart Fab Lab (the first and only fab lab in Bulgaria), with the idea to change the world for 6 Bulgarian need knowers in 72 hours. You can see the highlights and results of this epic hackathon in the next short film.

Imagga committed to helping blind people recognize Bulgarian banknotes

Anita (29) and Silvia (35) are blind and need help recognizing Bulgarian notes when they go shopping daily. Bulgarian banknotes have special embossed signs in one of their corners but these are impossible to be felt and recognized by most blind people, especially if the note has been in circulation for a long time.

Silvia’s and Anita’s challenge was to find a solution so they can recognize the banknotes and the currency.

A multidisciplinary team (Cash Vision) of people from academia and industry was formed to tackle this big challenge, including Stavri Nikolov (Imagga’s co-founder and Research Director) and Georgi Kostadinov (Imagga’s Core Technology Lead, who supported the Cash Vision team remotely). Cash Vision team members were (from left to right) Antony, Nesho, Anita, Angel, Nikolay, Stavri, Silvia (in the previous photo) and Georgi (remotely).

Initially, the team thought of creating a mobile phone app, but quickly found out it was challenging for Anita and Silvia to accurately aim their phone’s camera at the banknote and take a photo that is good for recognition while holding both banknote and phone in their hands. Then we decided to create a small box, like a portable mini scanner, that functions as banknote reader, naming it the b-reader. It uses a Raspberry Pi with a camera sensor that is held in a specially designed 3D-printed housing. When the banknote is put in the b-note holder, the camera captures the central part of the bill and uses image recognition to identify its nominal value. The first working b-note prototype was constructed in 48 hours with extensive tests on tens of banknotes (2, 5, 10, 20, 50 and 100 BGN banknotes) were done in the last 24 hours.

Further tests to improve the performance and reliability of the reader were done with other currencies: monopoly money, paper cuts, journal cuts and much more to assure system integrity.

How does b-note work?

Once the banknote is put in the b-note holder for scanning and recognition (irrespective of its orientation), it is photographed and a region of it is sent securely to the cloud, where a specially trained Imagga custom classifier recognizes its nominal value and returns this information to the b-note device. The device then plays a pre-recorded .mp3 file pronouncing the banknote value or if it is not recognized with sufficient confidence, saying ‘Unidentified object’. The audio files with the banknote nominal values have been recorded by Anita and Silvia themselves, so they can easily recognize their voice even in noisy environments.

The b-note system was subsequently tested with many more banknotes at various events and internally by the Cash Vision team. Two b-note devices are being optimized (better casing and smaller electronics) and will be given to Silvia and Anita to use for real in the autumn.

Ever since the TOM Bulgaria makeathon, the Cash Vision team has received many requests from visually impaired people in Bulgaria who are interested in using b-note daily. Because of the limited time we had, only the bigger challenge of recognizing notes was addressed. However, we are considering how b-note can be extended to recognize other objects in the future that are important for blind people.

On TOM Global’s web platform you can find full specs of the b-note prototype, including building instructions and camera code used for calling Imagga’s API, so that you can make a device just like it for around 100EUR/115USD (cost price).

You can’t fix the world in 72 hours, but you can surely try to hack it and make it better! Leave your thoughts and recommendations below.

free image recognition with imagga

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.


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.


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.

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.