Feeds

Google goes to Blighty for Goggles polish

Borgs Plink visual search startup

Top 5 reasons to deploy VMware with Tegile

Google has acquired UK-based visual search outfit Plink, with the intention of rolling the newly public startup into Mountain View's fledgling Google Goggles project.

This is the company's first-ever UK acquisition.

Plink co-founders Mark Cummins and James Philbin announced the news on Monday with a blog post. "We started Plink to bring the power of visual search to everyone, and we’re delighted to be taking a big step towards that goal today," said the pair, who founded Plink while PhD students at Oxford University in the department of engineering's mobile robotics and visual geometry groups.

Terms of the deal were not disclosed.

The startup's inaugural product was an Android application dubbed PlinkArt, a tool that attempts to identify artwork snapped with a camera phone and provide relevant information on the work and its artist. According to Cummins and Philbin, the app has been downloaded over 50,000 times since its launch four months ago.

Like PlinkArt, Google Goggles is an Android application that attempts to match camera pics to those stored in a web-based image database. One of its advertised uses is, yes, identifying artwork. It can also do character recognition, if you wanted to, say, input the information from a business card into your phone's contact manager. And separate from its image-recognition tools, it can identify local business via GPS and compass.

"Google has already shown that it’s serious about investing in this space with Google Goggles, and for the Plink team, the opportunity to take our algorithms to Google-scale was just too exciting to pass up," Cummins and Philbin said.

PlinkArt will still be available for download, but it will no longer be updated. Instead, Cummins and Philbin say, they will focus their efforts on Google Goggles. In December, Google awarded Plink $10,000 as a winner of its Android Developer Challenge contest, after a vote by Android users and a panel of judges. ®

Security for virtualized datacentres

More from The Register

next story
Brit telcos warn Scots that voting Yes could lead to HEFTY bills
BT and Co: Independence vote likely to mean 'increased costs'
Phones 4u slips into administration after EE cuts ties with Brit mobe retailer
More than 5,500 jobs could be axed if rescue mission fails
New 'Cosmos' browser surfs the net by TXT alone
No data plan? No WiFi? No worries ... except sluggish download speed
EE buys 58 Phones 4u stores for £2.5m after picking over carcass
Operator says it will safeguard 359 jobs, plans lick of paint
Radio hams can encrypt, in emergencies, says Ofcom
Consultation promises new spectrum and hints at relaxed licence conditions
Google+ GOING, GOING ... ? Newbie Gmailers no longer forced into mandatory ID slurp
Mountain View distances itself from lame 'network thingy'
Vodafone to buy 140 Phones 4u stores from stricken retailer
887 jobs 'preserved' in the process, says administrator PwC
Bonking with Apple has POUNDED mobe operators' wallets
... into submission. Weve squeals, ditches payment plans
Drag queens: Oh, don't be so bitchy, Facebook! Let us use our stage names
Handbags at dawn over free content ad network's ID policy
prev story

Whitepapers

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops
Balancing user privacy and privileged access, in accordance with compliance frameworks and legislation. Evaluating any potential remote control choice.
Intelligent flash storage arrays
Tegile Intelligent Storage Arrays with IntelliFlash helps IT boost storage utilization and effciency while delivering unmatched storage savings and performance.
WIN a very cool portable ZX Spectrum
Win a one-off portable Spectrum built by legendary hardware hacker Ben Heck
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?
Beginner's guide to SSL certificates
De-mystify the technology involved and give you the information you need to make the best decision when considering your online security options.