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Google Steps Up AI and Buys Network City Guide Creator Jetpac

Aug 19,2014  Company News  Comment: 0

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New York City, New York – (StockNewsDesk) – 08/19/2014 — Tech giant Google has acquired Jetpac, the maker of a smartphone app that recommends destinations based on an analysis of publicly shared Instagram photos. The company’s iOS app  is fairly simple as it scans through Instagram photos to match up types of people with locations they’re frequenting. This allows a statistical breakdown to see what places are most frequented in a city by various personalities.

Jetpac uses its analytics to create more than 6,000 city guides using Instagram photographs. While the app will go away on September 15th, the guides will be providing top things to do in particular locations. Jetpac’s apps will be removed from Apple’s App Store on September 15th as it announces that it is joining Google to work on new ventures and projects. The value of the deal remains undisclosed. On the other hand, Jetpac is portraying a positive image on its website with regards to future prospects with Google. The system relies on user feedback for its accuracy rather than explicit programming. The neural network dynamically adjusts the weighting of various algorithms until it the answers are naturalized and more correct.


The company’s current employees will join Google’s Knowledge team. It remains to be seen what exactly Google will do with Jetpac’s technology for finding things like popular bars and scenic vistas, but the startup’s technological portfolio meshes well with Google’s priorities. First off, its technology is smart; it works automatically as it extracts information from large numbers of publicly available photos instead of relying on approvals or other human processes. Google is well accustomed to such procedures with its search algorithms, as they use the same broad approach to analyzing the web.

Google’s recent applications, like Google Now, Google Maps, and their integration into everyday use, align well with Jetpac’s 6,000 resulting City Guides that are designed to offer customized geographic information. It remains to be seen what Google will do with the app – it could be added to the Google+ platform, where a ton of new photo-related features have recently been introduced. This includes stories for travel albums, Auto-Awesome filters and also automatic hashtagging.

JetPac’s algorithm could also be put to use in search results for Google Now and Google Maps, especially with regards to the nearby places of interest feature that aligns with the users’ interests. Google Now already shows a bunch of interesting places near your hotel when travelling, while recently Niantic Labs’ Field Trip app was integrated with Google Now for enhanced travel features within the app. Google Maps could also see JetPac integration as users already see a list of photographs taken around a particular location in Maps. The technology could start pulling in more images and possibly more relevant images for the same.

Google’s purchase of Jetpac follows a string of recent startup acquisitions, including smartphone video creation platform Directr by YouTube earlier this month and also digital assistant messaging application, Emu. Furthermore, it also snapped up a handful of tech security startups earlier this year by buying Israeli smart identification technology startup SlickLogin, underlining it with fraud and spam security startup Imperium.

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