Snapchat Acquires Israeli Start-up
Snapchat (recently rebranded as Snap Inc) have just acquired the Israeli start-up Cimagine, in a deal worth roughly $30-40 million. Cimagine is a mobile, cloud-based platform, that allows clients to see what a product would look like in their store, by creating a 3-D visualization of the product. It uses the same sort of technology as Pokemon Go, but for product and design purposes. For example, Coca Cola, (one of their biggest clients) can use the software to show store owners how vending machines or displays would fit into spaces in the shop. Check out this video for a demonstration. This isn’t the first acquisition we have seen from Snap Inc this year, the Cimagine deal means they have bought 6 new start-ups this year, as they try to expand their market share, and move into new technologies and markets.
Apple Publishes First AI Paper
Apple are a company synonymous with secrecy and mysterious un-named projects, however they are taking down their guard with respect to one field of research and developments, Artificial Intelligence. AI research is a subject that has not been without it’s controversies, and to that end Apple has decided to become part of the wider community of AI developers and share their research with the world. This is the very first paper that Apple has ever published on AI –it addresses the problem of teaching AI to recognize objects using simulated images, which are easier to use than photos (since you don’t need a human to tag items) but poor for adapting to real-world situations. They pitted neural networks against each other, in order to train them to improve the realism of simulated objects. With their expanding autonomous car plans, and other AI research, this could be the first of many research papers to come from Apple.
Google Hit’s Reset In 2016
Google’s IO developer conference gives them the perfect way to explore and celebrate the fact that 2016 has been an incredibly consequential year in the Google story. Google used 2016 to expand into hardware, enterprise, and the cloud, in ways that they haven’t previously explored. We got the Google Pixel, Google Home, Google Wifi, and the Daydream VR Headset, as well as advances in AI research and application as google became an industry leader with their Siri and Cortana rival, Google Assistant. Once you add the continued development of Google Cloud in competition with Azure and AWS, you start to see the big picture of Google’s reorganisation. Google have set themselves up to become the industry leader for smart devices, hardware, software, and cloud services – although there will certainly be challenges. They continue to put themselves ahead of the field in so many areas, and will continue to do so for the foreseeable future (I’m sure of it).
By Josh Hamilton