Riya's Photo-Search Engine Could Find Your Likeness Online - InformationWeek
Software // Enterprise Applications
06:00 PM

Riya's Photo-Search Engine Could Find Your Likeness Online

The technology breaks images into complex mathematical equations to find similar faces and objects.

Riya, a fledgling site for organizing and searching photos that has enjoyed early popularity, is developing a search engine that will let users find digital photos across the Web by recognizing similarities in images.

A face like no other

(click image for larger view)

A face like no other
Riya 2.0, scheduled for release in the fall, will use a technique that relies on hundreds of algorithms to look inside a photo and break it into grids to identify objects, Riya CEO Munjal Shah says. The software examines each face or object and turns it into a math equation that has about 2,000 parameters, Shah says. Within those parameters, the software can identify specific characteristics about noses, chins, and foreheads, for example, by looking at the amount of space between a person's hairline and eyebrows. The software also can recognize text within images, such as the text on a sign posted on a building in a photo, according to Riya.

Since the site launched in March, Riya users have uploaded more than 7 million photos to its servers, where they have remotely trained the system to recognize images and tag them. A user with hundreds of family photos can categorize them by members. The search engine will expand this ability beyond the Riya site. "Many people really wanted the ability to search the Web for all the pictures of them or a person that looks similar to another person," Shah said.

The technology may not be limited to consumer fun. Riya's image search engine could appeal to marketing and advertising companies, Susquehanna Financial Group equity analyst Malindi Davies says. "If you have a more efficient way to tag or recognize objects in photographs that's less human-capital intensive, that's a great technology for stock-image companies like Getty Images, Jupiterimages, or Corbis Photos," Davies says. Riya received $15 million in a second round of venture capital funding from Bay Partners earlier this year.

But while Riya's approach is unique, it faces competition from established photo-search sites, including Yahoo's Flickr and Google's Image Search.

Comment  | 
Print  | 
More Insights
Newest First  |  Oldest First  |  Threaded View
[Interop ITX 2017] State Of DevOps Report
[Interop ITX 2017] State Of DevOps Report
The DevOps movement brings application development and infrastructure operations together to increase efficiency and deploy applications more quickly. But embracing DevOps means making significant cultural, organizational, and technological changes. This research report will examine how and why IT organizations are adopting DevOps methodologies, the effects on their staff and processes, and the tools they are utilizing for the best results.
Register for InformationWeek Newsletters
White Papers
Current Issue
Digital Transformation Myths & Truths
Transformation is on every IT organization's to-do list, but effectively transforming IT means a major shift in technology as well as business models and culture. In this IT Trend Report, we examine some of the misconceptions of digital transformation and look at steps you can take to succeed technically and culturally.
Twitter Feed
Sponsored Live Streaming Video
Everything You've Been Told About Mobility Is Wrong
Attend this video symposium with Sean Wisdom, Global Director of Mobility Solutions, and learn about how you can harness powerful new products to mobilize your business potential.
Flash Poll