Yahoo! acquires image recognition firm iQ Engines

Yahoo! has just acquired iQ Engines, an image recognition company with a popular facial recognition API, soon to be included in Flickr

The terms of the deal have not been disclosed.

“We are thrilled to announce that IQ Engines is joining the Flickr team at Yahoo!,” the company said in a blog posted late last week. “As longtime Flickr fans and fellow photography enthusiasts, we look forward to working on improving photo organization and search for the community.”

The company primarily offers two main APIs – one called SmartCamera, which allows consumers to interact with images of products and logos through smartphone cameras and another called SmartAlbum, which allows for photo analysis and facial recognition. It’s likely the SmartAlbum API will be used to “socialize” Flickr and to create a facial tagging system.

According to a report in TechCrunch, iQ Engines grabbed $1 million in funding for its API in 2010 and more recently, closed a $3.8 million Series B from Third Point Ventures and Motorola Solutions’ venture capital arm.

According to a recently-published research report, the global facial recognition market is estimated to grow from $1.92 billion in 2013 to $6.5 billion in 2018, at an impressive CAGR of 27.7%.

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