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Google acquires France-based smartphone image recognition startup Moodstocks

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In a bid to strengthen its machine learning cavalry, Google has today announced the acquisition of a French startup called MoodStocks. The startup is aimed at developing image recognition technology for smartphones using custom APIs.

Moodstocks, founded in 2008 by Denis Brule, and Cedric Deltheil is a startup that’s looking to bridge the gap between the physical and digital world by turning your smartphone camera into smart sensors.

The technology which has been dubbed as the ‘Shazam for images‘ employs the use of complex algorithms and machine learning for visual object recognition. It provides robust, scalable and ready-to-use cross-platform SDKs for developers to integrate scanning into their products.

The terms of the acquisition deal haven’t been disclosed by either of the two parties, except for the fact that Moodstocks will now be joining Google’s R&D Center in Paris. The two have signed an agreement and the deal is expected to be completed in the next few weeks.

Moodstocks is now displaying the following message on their website,

Today, we’re thrilled to announce that we’ve reached an agreement to join forces with Google in order to deploy our work at scale.

Our focus will be to build great image recognition tools within Google, but rest assured that current paying Moodstocks customers will be able to use it until the end of their subscription.

The company also states that it will have to shutdown its own image recognition services, to scale and develop better tools in synergy with Google. So, the developers and e-commerce stores that have been employing Moodstocks image recognition APIs to power their products will have to wait-out or switch parties to continue offering their services.

Google in the french blogpost hasn’t divulged any specifics about the launch of its own such SDK for developers. But, it is most likely to utilize the power of Moodstocks API by integrating it with their own product offerings, specially Photos or Search. This might be a far-fetched thought but if Moodstocks API’s are robust and advanced enough, then they could also come in handy for Google’s Tango Project.

With the changing state of machine learning and image recognition, multiple Silicon Valley giants are now attracted towards the acquisition of budding AR and VR startups. In the recent past, Twitter has acquired two machine learning startups — Magic Pony and IXOMOXI — to bolster the image and video tech on its platform. It has also introduced image stickers, that act as hashtags to help you search pictures making use of the same sticker.

This is just a demo of Moodstocks Image Recognition API. You just have to power-up the required app which is very much alike any other camera app. And then place any object in front of the camera lens and tap to recognize the same. And as you might also notice in the YouTube video, the technology is easily able to recognize three objects in under 15 seconds.


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