New York: Yahoo! has announced its acquisition IQ Engines, a start-up company specializing in face and image recognition technologies. Yahoo!`s photo-sharing platform Flickr is expected to use the technology in the near future to help users to organize and search their online albums.
IQ Engines is the owner of two proprietary technologies, SmartCamera and SmartAlbum, designed respectively to retrieve the maximum amount of information from an image taken on a smartphone and to identify images and faces accurately. Both technologies are based on a number of criteria, including elements in the background, GPS data, the type of object photographed or any text present in the photo. A message on IQ Engines` website states that the company hopes to improve the way Flickr users search and browse their photos "by helping to process them intelligently."
Following a broad update last May, Flickr offers users 1TB of free photo storage, the equivalent of 537,731 photos with 6.5MP resolution, or 1.1 million photos at 3MP. Flickr still allows users to upload videos of up to 3 minutes in HD format (1080p).
The acquisition is the latest in a series from Yahoo!. Over the past year, the Internet giant bought Qwiki, with its technology for producing and sharing short videos, Xobni, with its personal address book technology, and of course the microblogging platform Tumblr, for the record sum of $1.1 billion.