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December 23, 2007

Computer vision in TechCrunch awards

Yesterday TechCrunch announced the finalists of Crunchies - its awards for best start-up companies/product. Twenty categories - all boring! Except for one at the top - Best technology innovation / achievement. The interesting part is that 3 out of 5 finalists have computer vision related products! This seems fair to me but, sadly, there is nothing to celebrate here. Certainly not from the point of view of technology. These are the companies: – “likeness” image search for shopping. Searches sometimes make sense but also seem cooked up. Even then the engine is easy to trick: a search for a watch with a secondary dial returned many watches without. Bottom line, nothing new after a whole year.

Earthmine – reconstructing cities from street views, “first geospatially accurate and complete street-level 3D data”. Well, conversion of 2D to 3D isn’t going to work. If they collect images continuously by driving through the streets and then patching the images together (that’s unclear), they get a 3rd dimension. Bottom line, even their demo shows only static (panoramic) shots not a true 3D reconstruction.

Viewdle – face recognition in videos. Makes a good demo but there is no way to test it. Can such technology ever be reliable? Once again it’s the 2D-to-3D issue. Bottom line, how is it better than Polar Rose?

None gets my vote.

5 Responses to “Computer vision in TechCrunch awards”

  1. Alexander Zhukov Says:

    Can you be more specific on “there is no way to test it”? Either you missed, or it is not enough for your test requirements. If later can you describe what would be a good enough test for you?

  2. Peter Says:

    By ‘test’ I meant firstly ‘verify’, so it’s the latter. All I see I just a bunch of videos. To verify that something meaningful is going on I would need to see a _new_ video analyzed. For example, I would like to see your application identify a celebrity in a video that I upload. There is no uploading! Well, if Reuters is happy with what they got, then this is some kind of confirmation…


  3. Alexander Zhukov Says:

    We are currently working on “upload-my-video” functionality, however as user submitted video may widely vary in both quality of content and duration of streams, to ensure acceptable user experience more work should be done than on professional content we have based our current released product on.

  4. bob seger Says:

    Earthmine isn’t using computervision!

  5. Peter Says:

    If stereo vision does not count as computer vision, I don’t know what does…

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