Late last month, IQ Engines raised $1 million in its first round of funding. The image recognition service is made up of its pay-per-use API and an iPhone app built on top of it. There's no flagship site--just an API.
In the funding press release IQ Engines said the API "enables retailers, handset manufacturers, wireless carriers, and application developers to build visual search, image labeling, and augmented reality applications for mobile phones." With it, developers can post images in order to receive text-based tags identifying the images' content. The API is simple and straightforward to use, but very powerful. The service does cost money: 7 cents per image, though the first 100 per day are free.
This API creates many new opportunities across the web, but IQ Engines has taken particular interest in the mobile space. Developers of simple mobile applications can now leverage their devicess' photo-taking functionality along with IQ Engines' API to quickly and easily provide image recognition within their user experience. As highlighted by the IQ Engines team:
IQ Engines can help you turn that camera into a mobile search tool, finding information with a single snapshot. Simply add a camera to your mobile application to enable the power of mobile visual search and reach your customers at the moment of interest.
To get a feel for the potential of IQ Engines, see the video embedded below. With a team of PhDs at UC Berkeley and UC Davis, this project has plenty of potential. IQEngines' API (our IQ Engines API profile) is already open to developers and is free to try.