Google Buys Image-Recognition App Jetpac
Are you one of the users of Jetpac, an app on iOS? You may soon bid goodbye to the program soon. That is if its new owner does not change the app’s strategy. Google, a known rival for Apple Inc, has recently acquired Jetpac for an undisclosed amount.
Logically, part of that acquisition transaction is the expected scuttling of the iOS app. Everyone is clueless at this time whether Google would integrate the image recognition technology into its very own services or whether the giant company would only absorb the talent, a strategy usually referred to as ‘acqui-hire’ in Silicon Valley.
Jetpac began in 2011. It secured a significant funding of $2.4 million in 2012 after taking the support from various investors that included Khosla Ventures, former Yahoo CEO Jerry Yang, and Morado Venture partners.
Simple but useful
Jetpac as an iOS app is simple, but can be considered as a novel application. It can scan faces through Instagram pictures and match those people with corresponding locations where they are monitored to be frequenting. Thus, the app can determine which places various personalities frequent based on Instagram posts.
Moreover, Jetpac uses the results of its analysis of Instagram pictures for the creation of city guides. There are over 6,000 of those to date. Those guides include ‘top 10’ lists of possible activities to do in particular locations. Those mostly focus on the most popular sites to go to.
Jetpac makes searching for places to go easier as it is now possible to do it naturally as one visualizes it. Now, one has not to go through reading amenities lists or parsing text reviews. People can use it to get a sense of places and people quickly and more accurately.
And who could set aside the feature in Jetpac to take quizzes to determine if you can still recognize cities through Instagram pictures. That proves to be popular among many Jetpac app users to date. However, we may not expect Google to still take interest in that quiz feature.
But logically, the laser-like focus of Jetpac on facial recognition can be handy for Google’s own social enterprises, including the troubled Google+. Jetpac’s technology can also be used to boost its new owner’s local search as well as retail review activities.