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Riya recognizes your photo


Riya is a Redwood City start-up, apparently backed by LeapFrog and BlueRun Ventures, that uses facial recognition technology to help you tag photos more efficiently.

From a story in Wired:

As Riya learns who's in your pictures, it begins to auto-tag the snaps itself, quickly scanning the rest of your photos and identifying each person it recognizes. Riya also uses text recognition to read street signs and other text in photos.

Definitely a coolish feature. Not a stand alone company, though, right? So this is yet another play to get acquired by one of the big guys, we presume. We'll be writing more about this trend over the weekend, by the way, and we'll link to it. Meanwhile, we hope to find out more about Riya at its launch party, held by the TechCrunch folks, which should be an event worth attending.

UPDATE: Riya apparently raised a $4 million Series A round of funding from Leapfrog Ventures and BlueRun Ventures earlier this year, according to VentureWire (sub required).

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From: SiliconBeat
Riya sold to Google for $40M?
Excerpt: Lots of buzz out there that Google has aquired Riya, the start-up that uses facial recognition technology to allow you to tag your pictures more efficiently. The rumor is $40 million, but this is still in the rumor category, because Riya chief executi...
Tracked: November 21, 2005 7:29 AM


Matt, you're such a cynic...;-). Think about it, the technology underneath photo search and image search hasn't change in 10 years. In that time the number of digital photos has exploded and the number hi-res photos on the web has grown because of broadband. Email me if you want a demo over the weekend or later on today. - Munjal Shah CEO Riya

Munjal Shah on November 11, 2005 10:05 AM
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2D facil recognition is highly unreliable. Perhaps folks at Riya figured out how to get it work on >10 or so people that figure in a typical event shot, with 20-50-100 pictures shot in the same setting and with the same camera in a few hours. If you try to apply it to larger samples of people and smaller number of photos, the quality will progressively suffer.

Yuri Ammosov on November 12, 2005 12:00 AM
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BlueRun Ventures and Leapfrog Ventures invested in Ojos (the company behind Riya.com) in March 2005, says one of the co-founders Vineet Buch (now with BlueRun) on his blog (http://ventureexplorer.typepad.com)

Arun Natarajan on November 12, 2005 9:41 PM
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I would suspect that the real money here is in survelliance and intelligence- want to search through hundreds of London video cams for faces appearing shortly before an attack?. If it works the FBI and CIA will snatch it up (that is whenever the FBI gets an actual working network of their own...)
I also imagine Google targeting ads at specific individuals. After all who doesn't Google someone they're about to do business (professionally or socially) with? Now you could find out where they hang out and with whom. And see related ads.
Frankly there's a lot more to commercialize here than things like Ajaxed personal portals and online word processors.

Martin on November 14, 2005 6:30 AM
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