Monthly Archives: September 2016

Snapchat wants to use image recognition to send ads, and it could be a little creepy

By | Filters, Image Ads, Image Recognition, Monetization, Research, Snapchat | No Comments
July 19, 2016

One of Snapchat’s best loved features is its photo filters, which use GPS data and augmented reality to add interactive “lenses” to your photos and videos. Now, the messaging startup wants to make that offering more powerful—and lucrative.

A patent application published on July 14, titled “Object Recognition Based Photo Filters,” describes lenses and filters that would be based on the picture you’re taking. For example, if you’re snapping a photo of the Empire State Building, you’d be given the option of a King Kong filter in which the ape climbs the building. The application also outlines how Snapchat could push you a free coffee offer after you post a photo of a hot cup of java.

Snapchat patent shows it'll recognize the Empire State Building, and push a King Kong filter to a user.
Snapchat patent shows it’ll recognize the Empire State Building, and push a King Kong filter to a user. (USPTO/Snapchat)
Snapchat would recognize your coffee in your photo, and send you an offer.
Snapchat would recognize your coffee in your photo, and send you an offer. (USPTO/Snapchat)

Snapchat has 150 million users who send 10 billion videos a day, and they’ve shown no resistance to using sponsored filters. One by Gatorade during this year’s Super Bowl generated 160 million impressions.

But the deep image recognition software needed for the capabilities described in the patent goes further than what’s been offered to date and could make users uncomfortable. Based on the application, Snapchat would be looking at what you’re sending, where you are, and send you advertisements based on that. Snapchat declined to comment on the application.

The tension between a user’s experience and building an advertising business has been a challenge faced by almost every social media company. Facebook and Twitter have had their ups and down, and so will Snapchat. The company is internally projecting sales of $250-$350 million in 2016, and between $500 million and $1 billion in 2017. Snapchat brought in just $59 million in 2015, according to TechCrunch.

Companies file patent applications that go unused all the time, and this patent has not yet been granted. But the bet is on whether or not consumers (especially young ones, like Snapchat’s core demographic) are willing to sacrifice their privacy for fun and potentially useful products. And, for Snapchat, the answer is the difference between being a hip trendy app and the next Facebook.

Google Launches Shop the Look to Optimize Advertising for Retailers

By | Algorithms, Fashion, Image Ads, Monetization | No Comments

Google Launches Shop the Look to Optimize Advertising for Retailers

Photo: Courtesy of Google
Photo: Courtesy of Google

Advertising to consumers is now a more seamless experience thanks to Google.

Last week, the search engine debuted “Shop the “Look,” a new apparel and home décor experience for its retail advertisers, allowing them to reach more consumers while helping brands increase visitor traffic and boost digital sales.

As more consumers browse and purchase items on their smartphones, it is crucial for retailers to create mobile-friendly brand strategies. According to a recent Google study, 90 percent of mobile users said they aren’t absolutely sure of the specific brands they want to purchase items from when they start shopping.

To help consumers discover products instantly, Google is building on ad experiences, including Showcase Shopping ads and Shopping ads on image search. Both options allow consumers to browse items, compare prices and purchase products without typical digital complications. The new version allows people to explore the world of fashion and shop products directly from curated, inspirational images on google.com.

First, consumers can type a particular wardrobe item, like a little black dress, into Google search. Once they hit enter, a picture of a popular fashion blogger wearing a little black dress, heels and a cross-body bag may pop up on their page. Consumers may then shop for exact or similar products found in the image with a few taps.

Shop the Look images are curated by fashion partners, including Polyvore, that feature content from brands, bloggers, publishers and retailers. Similar to standard shopping ad guidelines on Google, retail advertisers will be charged on a cost-per-click basis. Retailer advertisers interested in shop the look may register with Google Shopping Campaigns.

Via: SourcingJournalOnline

Intel buys chip maker Movidius to help bring computer vision to drones

By | Algorithms, Blog, Image Recognition, IoT | No Comments

Intel buys chip maker Movidius to help bring computer vision to drones

Intel’s RealSense computer vision platform has been lacking a low-powered way of recognizing what its depth-sensing cameras are seeing — until now. The chip giant is buying Movidius, the designer of a range of system-on-chip products for accelerating computer vision processing.

Movidius supplies chips to drone makers such as DJI and to thermal imaging company FLIR Systems, itself a supplier of DJI. Its chips help computers figure out what they are seeing through cameras like Intel’s RealSense by breaking down the processing into a set of smaller tasks that they can execute in parallel.

There are systems that already do this using GPUs, but those are relatively power-hungry, often consuming tens of watts. That’s not a problem in fixed applications with access to mains electricity, or in cars, which have huge batteries and a way to recharge them. But in drones or other lightweight IoT devices, power consumption needs to be much lower. Movidius aims for a design power of around one watt with its Myriad 2 vision processing units.

Having largely failed to get its Atom processors into smartphones, Intel is looking for ways to lever them into other devices, such as drones.

Josh Walden, senior vice president and general manager of Intel’s New Technology Group, sees potential for Movidius to help it create systems for drones, and also for augmented, virtual and merged reality devices, robots and security cameras, he said in a post to the company’s blog. It’s not just about the chips, he said: Intel is also buying algorithms developed by Movidius for deep learning, depth processing, navigation and mapping, and natural interactions.

Via PCWorld