The spread of technology is evident in the fact that big firms like Google, Apple and Facebook, among many others, are on a purchasing spree. This year, in particular, has been one with pricey acquisitons. Take Facebook’s acqusition of WhatsApp or Apple’s acquisiton of Beats. While these franchises are busy making profits and beating out each other, Google has a surprise for many iOS users. Google now owns Jetpac, an application exclusive to iOS, at least according to Jetpac’s website.
Based in San Fransisco, the application that was Jetpac City Guides, a popular photo analyzing app, is now pulled down from the App Store. Jetpac uses pictures gathered by Facebook’s Instagram app to generate city maps or guides as the information is available for public use. There has been no official statement from Google on the acquisition, nevertheless it has done little to stop Jetpac from making its own announcement.
The official website for Jetpac talks about the purchase at Google’s end, although the deal still needs to be verified. The deal has not stopped the Jetpac firm from pulling down the app form the App Store and discontinuing services from September this year. Apart from the above mentioned details, not much has been revealed by both the firms.
Headquartered in San Francisco, Jetpac is one of the triad of apps that focuses on deep learning technology. A relatively new branch of artifical intelligence (AI), deep learning technology is rooted deeply in machine learning research. Spotter and Deep Belief, the two other apps involved, also are based on deep learning technology. With venture capitalist funding from ex-CEO Jerry Yang, Yahoo!, Khosla Ventures and Morado Venture partners, Jetpac secured $2.4 million in 2012. Since 2011, the application that has been on the iOS App Store accumulated information from pictures posted on Instagram and other social media platforms. Employing an evolved and advanced system of artificial intelligence, the app produced guides based on the information from the photos. Some sources of the visual information that Jetpac based its guides on include photos of food, people, famous landmarks and the other interests people put on display. The images augmented the information on the activities, habits, leisure-time possibilities and curiosities that a city had to offer via Jetpac.
The Spotter app works like a Pokedex from the famous anime series, Pokemon. Just pointing an iPhone with the app installed allowed a user to learn all that the phone knows about any object. The Deep Relief app substructured within Jetpac provided information on how one can use the application. Photo analysis is another branch of technology that makes the trio of apps work.
Google is a well known competitor to Apple. Software produced by both the firms are widely used worldwide. While Apple’s iOS is limited to the iPhone, Google’s Android is versatile. By pairing the mobile iOS with varied hardware manufacturers, Google has a wider reach than Apple. Jetpac’s acquisition may come as a surprise move by Google to many Apple fans, but there is more to it than just buying the iOS application. Deep learning technology, the branch of AI these apps are based on, is the result of Geoffery Hinton, a prominent Google researcher. Google’s purchase of Jetpac could work in its favor since the app can work well with Google’s Navigation and Maps app, providing better directions.
By Rathan Paul Harshavardan