Project Description

Google buys image recognition startup


Google just bought the French image recognition startup Moodstocks. Only two weeks after Twitter acquired the London based Magic Pony Technology, Google is also taking a step to “expand its pool of machine learning talent”.

Who is Moodstocks?

Moodstocks is a French startup based in Paris founded back in 2008. Connecting the analog and the digital world, they always had one dream: “give eyes to machines by turning cameras into smart sensors able to make sense of their surroundings.” [1]

The company which was given the nickname “Shazam for images” started introducing on-device image recognition in 2012. For the past two years they worked on extending their focus to object recognition, “using deep learning based approaches”.

In the video below you can see Moodstock’s object recognition technology in action: 

Google is expanding its business

Google didn’t specify if it will offer its own SDK for developers or if it will simply integrate the technology in its consumer services. Also there’s no word about how much Google paid for the French startup. One thing that’s for sure: with Moodstocks’ acquisition, Google can improve its image search even more. Moodstocks’ experience in terms of  visual recognition can offer great potential to the maker of Android and search engine giant Google. Moodstocks’ machine learning alogrithms could be applied in Google’s image searches for example. That way they could learn how to find images that are similar and/or related to used search terms.

Next steps for the image recognition startup

Moodstocks announced on their website that the acquisition will be completed within the next few weeks. Nevertheless their current paying customers are assured that they will be able to use their product until the end of their subscription.
The acquisition also brings a change of location. Moodstocks’ team will be moving over to Google’s R&D center in Paris.


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Header photo: © Niharb