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.


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!


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


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.


SeedHack, hacking with hackers in London

Georgi @ Google Campus for SeedHack

Imagga took part at exciting hacking event - SeedHack 4.0, that was organized by SeedCamp in Google Campus London. Over 100 hackers from 17 countries participated and formed 16 teams. Imagga was one of the proud partners of the event including BBC News Labs, EyeEm, Imagga, Facebook, Getty Images, Google, HarperCollins, Nokia, Thomson Reuters and Stupeflix.

It’s quite busy month for Imagga - full with exciting events. Before going to London for SeedHack, we were in Berlin for Techcrunch Disrupt Europe, in Dublin for WebSummit and then back to Berlin for Microstock Expo. Georgi and Georgi (our CTO and super talented ninja-developer) attended Seedhack and presented Imagga APIs. It was quite exciting as it happen to co-occur with the soft-launch of our new categorization API. We love developers and hackathons are totally the right place to be! Hackathons are hot for us not just as opportunity to spread the word about our APIs but to also hack and take active part in the events. We stay during the night, and we love it!

It’s always great to have people excited about your product, specially developers. Lots of people came to talk to us. Actually five out of sixteen teams requested accounts and will further evaluated the APIs. One team integrated our auto cropping API, one team integrated the auto categorization API and a team played with our stock image search. In return we took advantage of the uber-cool Adnroid testing farm in Google Campus and tested our newest and greatest image organization app Sliki (sign up for early invite). More on Sliki to follow in separate blog post, you will love what it can do for your personal photos.

Partnering to events is great, but we are hackers as well and couldn’t stay with crossed hands and just watch how other participants are having fun. Getty Images challenged us if we can distinguish between horse and donkeys and we’ve been busy adjusting our classifier to take the challenge. It turned to be quite successful.

It’s interesting that 3 out of 5 short keynotes were actually about images. It’s obvious images are playing key role in helping out startups communicate it’s idea. More than that, image intensive startups are growing in number and we believe this is great fit for our image analysis APIs.

Literatrip

It feels great when a team utilizing your technology wins a prize. LiteraTrip won 2nd and they used our StockPodium search API.

See the projects that actually presented Sunday

  • Quicklearner – learning languages with pictures
  • Afterhours – shows you where the next bar is that is still open
  • Literatip – connecting people and places to their books
  • Moodmusic – play music to your mood
  • Sokrates – memory game for kids with audio and visuals
  • Braintrainer – brain trainer app that connects sport images with music
  • Tunez – music discovery app that combines user generated videos with 20s audio tracks you to share and discover music
  • destionationopen.com –  curated travel search with open destinations
  • Picit – easily attach pictures out of the web to your mail in a browser
  • OFDB – platform for aggregated soccer content
  • OppoZeit – shows two sides of a news story
  • Appp – helps users engage with content using various APIs (Facebook, Getty etc.)
  • Crowdmash – mixing content of an event to brands
  • Triber – visualizes and quantifies relationships between people and their follower using Twitter API
  • 3D Model of BBC Content by William – shows pictures of news content in a 3D model
  • Model Equity Calculator for Founders with Option Pool Expansion – helps founders to value their company and calculate equity

More on the event you can find on SeedCamp blog.


Remixing Content - Imagga at Seedhack London

imagga@seedhack_blog

We are excited we are taking part in Seedhack 4.0, Seedcamp hack event that will take place in Central Working at Google Campus in the heart of East London’s Tech City. Remixing Content is the theme of this event, so we thought Imagga APIs are perfect match for the nerds to play and mess up specially with our specialty - images.

This spring we partnered Seedchack 3.0 aiming at fashion.  11 out of 21 teams requested access to Imagga APIs, 3 teams ended up trying it and one team got it’s hands dirty and implemented Imagga Color API into a project called Colourtag.me - a slick and easy way to discovery what colors fits you.

The Seedhack experience is awesome. The idea behind the event is not just to have fun and play with exciting new technologies, but since Seedcamp is organizing it, there is great chance if you have a nice idea, form and manage a good team, and execute well, to get scored and get even funded. That’s we call startup fun and that can actually turn into some serious business.

We've made significant progress with our technology and will be offering three APIs - Smart Cropping API, Color API and Auto Categorization API. The last is our latest attempt to fix the problem with organizing the rapidly growing image collections and will be publicly available for first time at Seedhack 4.0. Be sure not to miss it! ;-)

What Auto Categorization API can be used for:

  • you can use it to automatically categorize images scraped in volume from the net
  • works great with personal mobile image collections - we snap lots of photos but non of the mobile platforms provide an easy and working way to organize these photos without spending days tagging or putting them in albums. When was the last time you did an album on your iPhone?
  • you can use it to distinguish between product and complex scenes. Let say you want to hack IKEA website and need to get just the product photos but not the room setups.
  • can't wait to see how you will use the API and surprise us

The hackathon will run through the weekend from November 8-10th and two of our team members will be there to help out setting the APIs. Who knows, they may end up hack a bit and mix Imagga APIs with some other useful tool from the great list of API partners to the event, some of which are:

  • BBC News Labs
  • Crowdprocess
  • EyeEm
  • Facebook
  • Getty Connect
  • Harper Collins
  • Nokia UK
  • Stupeflix

If you happen to be in London during this weekend and mixing content is something you what to try, do apply as the available spots are few. We will be more than happy to meet you in person and guide you through the opportunities Imagga APIs can offer.


Imagga at Photo Hack Day Berlin

It was exciting to be in Berlin for Photo Hack Day 3 organized by EyeEm. The start of the trip was quite challenging – lightning struck the Bulgaria Air plane we were supposed to take for Berlin. At least there was quite good internet connection at Sofia Airport so the 3 hours waiting for the aircraft replacement were not completely wasted. The journey started with a beautiful rainbow over the  airport that we managed to fly over. Good sign for what’s to come in Berlin.

Berlin

Berlin is lovely. Getting around is quite easy. The startup ecosystem is thriving so there are lots of opportunities to network. Straight from the airport we ended up attending Uber barbecue marking the startup’s operations in Berlin. Met lovely new people, all with interesting story and a startup. Need to say that if you have not been in Berlin, you will be surprised how interesting the startup scene is. The spirit of Berlin can be seen in the way people dress, live, talk, interact. It’s a vivid mixture of the modern world with a small hipster touch that can be easily seen everywhere.

PHD3 Berlin

And here we are at Photo Hack Day opening, where Georgi presented Imagga APIs. It’s interesting to see some competitors also presenting and partnering the event. This is the third edition of Photo Hack Day organized by EyeEm in Berlin.

The event itself was awesome. Over 150 hackers attended and the crowd was really international – lots of local talent, but also some Americans, French, Norwegians, etc. The API partners had awesome technologies for the participants to play with, including Imagga’s color search and smart-cropping. Right after partners announcements and the hack ideas were presented, there was an instant team formation. Maybe the use of a great service like Hacker League helped people to get to know each other and form teams easily.

Georgi presenting Imagga APIs

Imagga’s APIs were quite interesting to the participants. Almost half of the teams signed up, which is great. Two of the teams actually used the APIs at the end. Our special prize went to Ambeer – awesome idea that uses Imagga Color API to recognize the predominant colors of an image and then add ambient light in the room. It’s awesome that Imagga’s technology that made the magic work. The idea also got $250 in cash and $2500 in API usage from us. The project also won the official 2nd prize of the event, so some additional recognition for Imagga as well.

The team that won Imagga's prize

Even though we were API partners during the event, we couldn’t resist Fotolia’s challenge to hack something with Imagga and Fotolia APIs. The idea was born in a very interesting conversation on the future of micro-stock photography and how Imagga’s auto-tagging can actually be of benefit for the photographers in both saving time for tagging and improving the quality of the tags. So out of that the idea ‘Pimp Ma Tagzzz’ was born. It plugs Fotolia APIs and pulls search results from there. When you select a picture, we display Fotolia tags along with tags automatically generated by TaggRe (this is the fancy name we use for our auto-tagging technology). The words that are present in both tag clouds are colored in gray and the new tags that we suggest are in blue. Some of them are emphasized in bold to show they are considered as top search keywords in Fotolia. The auto-tagging technology is still in production mode and there is room for improvement of the tags’ quality. But even with the current state of the technology it’s visible we can help photographers significantly improve their image ratings by auto suggesting relevant tags. 

Imagga / Fotolia hach

Visiting Berlin and being part of the startup ecosystem just for a weekend was awesome experience. We will be coming back soon!


Hacking The Hackathons

The first one was Startup Weekend Mobile Sofia (Bulgaria), held in Vivacom HQ, April 5-7. Great event with more than 120 participants eager to brainstorm and prototype ideas about the next cool mobile apps. It was one of the best hackathons I’ve been at, not only in Bulgaria but worldwide. A lot of bright people and super productive engineers.
Something that made me extremely happy is that the most of the ideas were globally (and not locally) oriented – something that wasn’t typical in Bulgaria until recently. Let’s hope that this change in mentality will bring the Bulgarian startup community closer and closer to global success.

I took the last chance in Friday to pitch an idea and decided to pitch it as a spin-off project from Imagga, about building mobile app(s) based on our prototype for color search in fashion. How I pitched it is that we (Imagga) are ready to buy it after the hackathon and/or eventually hire the people Later on it turned out that some of the jury members have perceived this as a very smart move from Imagga (kind of “hacking the system”), but one that decreases the value of the whole project in the context of the event. I definitely don’t agree with that and I’d say our team was very motivated and passionate, because it really believes in the idea, and not because of eventual quick cash gains.

Here are we, working on ColorFit.me it two consecutive  days, brainstorming and hacking like crazy:

ColorFit Team

We did an amazing job, pushing prototypes on all iPhone (native), Android (Adobe Air wrapper), and Windows Phone (native). Here is a video of them in action

 

The team also produced a wonderful presentation - http://colorfit.me/presentation/#/swsofia.
And we won! several prizes: 3rd place based on the jury vote, and 2nd-3rd place based on the audience vote. It’s still a nice performance though we think we should have won 1st place in both, and also the special prize from Microsoft for prototyping the app also in their platform in less than a day.

We are going to decide how to proceed with this in a few days and we do hope that you’ll be able to  have access to the first versions of the apps in the app stores quite soon.

The second hackathon was Photo Hack Day 4held in Facebook HQ in Menlo Park, April 6-7. The event went really good, and though we were partnering it remotely, it was quite busy for us -implementing several sugar features and tweaks based on customer demand
Happily, one of the teams that requested access to our APIs managed to integrate it in their hack ‘The Roll’, and it was featured as one of the eight honorable mentions in the The Next Web review of the event. Great job by the EyeEm team working on it!

There are a few more great hackathons coming in the next week(end)s – HackFMI and NASA International Space Apps Challenge 2013 – Sofia. What a month for startups and hackers!


Imagga to partner Seedcamp's Seedhack to disrupt fashion and retail

We are very excited about going to the 3rd edition of Seedcamp's Seedhack this weekend! It's a great chance to help hackers disrupt fashion and retail with our color extraction & search and smart cropping APIs.

Photo from the previous (2nd) edition of Seedhack
(image source: Seedcamp's blog)

We truly believe that fashion and retail are really appropriate field for application of our technologies, here and here are some reasons why.

It's also a great recognition for Imagga to be listed as an API partner among some legendary brand names and cool startups like Google, HarperCollins, Net-A-Porter, Paypal, and Wonga.

Exctided about meeting all the hackers, API partners, sponsors and the event organizers quite soon!

Make sure to catch up when you are around, and attend the Imagga API presentation in Friday (Feb 8th), 6:45 pm at Campus London.

P.S.: Big thanks to LAUNCHub who made the right kind of introductions :)