RealTime IT News

Google Juices Picasa

Google added a little juice to Picasa, its free photo-sharing application, with the acquisition of biometric and mobile technologies company Neven Vision.

A Google spokesperson refused comment on this story, but according to a blog post by Adrian Graham, Picasa product manager, Google made the move because Neven Vision shares Google's goal of making searching photos as easy as searching the Web.

But that's not the only goal Google and Neven Vision share.

Neven Vision's "deep technology" has the ability to extract information from a photo, performing such tricks as detecting what objects, or even which people, are in a photo, Graham added in the post.

Graham said that Google doesn't have any specific features lined up yet.

Neven Vision's most popular product is iScout, according to a former Neven Vision spokesperson.

IScout is photo-recognition software for mobile devices, such as camera phones. Neven Vision marketed the technology as an advertising product.

Working with companies such as Coca-Cola, Neven Vision partnered with advertisers to put iScout on mobile devices in Asia and Europe.

Consumers would take a picture of a specific item that the software could recognize, a Coca-Cola advertisement for example, and the phone would be granted access to multimedia content.

Advertisers paid Neven Vision for each time a consumer interacted with their advertisement through iScout.

So while Google may have an interest in making photos loaded into Picasa more searchable, that's not the only thing it shares with the company it just acquired.

Instead, the former Neven Vision spokesperson said, Google and Neven Vision might share more of an appetite to see brand advertisers pay-per-click, whether of the mouse or of the shutter.