Google Buys Company to Boost Photo Management

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Google plans to strengthen its Picasa photo management software and service with the acquisition of Neven Vision, a Santa Monica, California, company specializing in mobile photo search.

Adrian Graham, Picasa product manager, announced the deal in an official Google blog posting today, saying that Neven Vision brings expertise on automatically obtaining information from a photo.

"It could be as simple as detecting whether or not a photo contains a person, or, one day, as complex as recognizing people, places, and objects. This technology just may make it a lot easier for you to organize and find the photos you care about," Graham wrote.

Image Recognition

A spokeswoman for Neven Vision confirmed the acquisition has been finalized, but declined to provide details about the deal. Google didn't immediately reply to a request for comment.

Neven Vision, which also has offices in Japan, Germany, and the U.K., has developed a suite of image-recognition and facial-analysis tools for mobile devices, according to the company's Web site, which has since been shut down. The tools can be used for marketing, e-commerce, search, security and biometric verification purposes.

Google recently retooled its Picasa photo management software, giving users the ability to publish albums to the Web and share them with other people, making Picasa more competitive with rival service Flickr, which is owned by Yahoo and is considered a pioneer in online photo sharing.

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