AI-based image recognition startup Orbeus quietly acquired by Amazon last fall

April 9, 2016 - 

Earlier this week it was revealed that Amazon quietly acquired image recognition startup Orbeus last fall for an unknown amount, according to unnamed sources cited in a report by Bloomberg.

Orbeus’ photo-recognition software, ReKognition, was based on neural networks artificial intelligence (AI) technology.

The company’s Phototime app automatically organized and identified the contents of images, which is similar to the capabilities offered by the AI-based app Photos, which Google later released.

The Sunnyvale and Mountain View-based company previously raised just under $2 million in funding from a slew of investors, including Amino Capital, Excelerate Labs, Pritzker Group Venture Capital, CRCM Venture Capital and ZhenFund.

Visitors to the Orbeus website are now greeted with the message, “”ReKognition API is no longer taking new customers. But we’re up to new/exciting things.”

Almost the entire Orbeus team is now officially working for Amazon, although company CEO Yi Li and a few others on LinkedIn have not yet updated their profiles to reflect their new positions.

Meanwhile, Amazon has been expanding its use of AI to automate its warehouse operations, enhance delivery systems and introduce new products to Amazon Web Services.

Previously reported, Amazon filed a new patent application titled “Image Analysis for User Authentication”, which reveals the eCommerce giant’s plans to launch a payment option that will allow consumers to authenticate purchases with a photo or video of themselves to make a payment.

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About Justin Lee

Justin Lee has been a contributor with Biometric Update since 2014. Previously, he was a staff writer for web hosting magazine and website, theWHIR. For more than a decade, Justin has written for various publications on issues relating to technology, arts and culture, and entertainment. Follow him on Twitter @BiometricJustin.