IQ Engines, Inc., a Berkeley, CA-based developer of an image recognition engine that enables retailers, handset manufacturers, wireless carriers, and application developers to build visual search, image labeling, and augmented reality applications for mobile phones, secured $1m in a Series A financing.
The company will use the capital to support the public launch of its engine, which allows users to submit images and receive back – in a few seconds – a short and accurate description of each picture’s contents.
In conjunction with the funding, investor David Austin, a former Apple Inc. executive, joined the IQ Engines’ board of directors.
The company has also used its own API to develop oMoby, a visual search application for the iPhone, as a showcase for its technology. oMoby, available for free on Apple’s iTunes App Store, uses the iPhone’s camera and Internet connection to search for shopping information and other results.
IQ Engines has also received a $119,000 research grant from the National Institute of Health, which will be used to support further development of its any-image recognition engine’s ability to provide accessibility tools to assist the vision-impaired, and a $200,000 supplement to its SBIR Phase II grant from the National Science Foundation to advance the development of 3D object representations for visual search.