Google acquires travel app maker Jetpac, hints at integration with Google Maps

Google acquires image-recognision tech expert Jetpac for an undisclosed sum.

Published Date
18 - Aug - 2014
| Last Updated
18 - Aug - 2014
Google acquires travel app maker Jetpac, hints at integration wit...

Google has acquired San Francisco-based social travel application maker JetPac. The app maker uses pictures from different social networking sites to create city guides. The financial details of the deal have not been disclosed.

Jetpac's app allows users to go through Facebook photos of your friends to show which places they have visited and where they had the most fun, so that you can make up your mind whether travelling to that place is worth it. The company has developed a mechanism for spotting smiles in pictures to discern how happy people were in a city.

Jetpac has another app called Spotter that lets users identify objects in real-time by pointing their phone at them. The app uses 'Deep Belief Object Recognition' to identify what the object is.

The developers state that the "Deep Belief Convoluted Neural Network on a million photos, and like a brain, it learned concepts of textures, shapes and patterns, and combined those to recognize most common objects, including breeds of dogs and types of plants. It's not trained to recognize people yet, so will guess objects that people interact with."

According to reports, Google may use Jetpac's technology in Google Now and Google Maps, in nearby places of interest that would align with the users’ interests. Google Now recently integrated Niantic Labs’ Field Trip app for enhanced travel features within the app. Jetpac's technology would help pull in relevant images for Google Maps. The algorithm could also be used in Google+, to help users search within photos.

Google also has done a lot of work in Deep learning and may use Jetpac's image recognition technology to further improve its systems. Other tech giants including Microsoft and Baidu are also working on improving their deep learning operations.

Jetpac started in 2011 and received $ 2.4-million in from investors including Morado Venture Partners, Khosla Ventures and Jerry Yang. "We'll be removing Jetpac's apps from the App Store in the coming days, and ending support for them on 9/15," stated a posting on JetPac's homepage.

Source: Venturebeat