Google is close to buying/gobbling another company. The article says $40m for the buyout. Incidentally its an Indian techpreneur’s co.
Google is in talks to buy ____ , a photo-search company that uses facial recognition to organize photos, sources close to the deal told Red Herring magazine Nov. 21. (The amount quoted is censured as its not a reliable source ) Now why give the company a publicity stunt? shall i remove the post?
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I checked out Riya at TagCamp last month – a live Demo. Was cool to watch everything. Even met and had a chat with those folks. A jovial bunch!
And the product also is pretty neat with a flickr like interface. It may be rumours. but I am sure – its in lines of google thing of affairs. Picassa + blogger + Riya => would be a nice combo!
Riya’s alpha definitely hurts … however, the solution they are providing … being able to search photos is such a sorely needed feature that most people will live with waiting for a few more weeks/months.
It’s not a fad … photo searching is one of the most important yet unfulfilled goal for consumers.
(Google Images is not photo searching, it’s photo filename searching)
Personally, Riya doesn’t hang my computer, but just refuses to either “stop uploading” or if it is uploading, doesn’t do any real uploading at all.
I am not sure if Munjal himself has spent much time in india. I believe he was born and brought up there and he used to come here for Andale. Do you think it counts as an “Indian techpreneur’s”?
TOI is the least reliable source ever. Please preserve the sanctity of this place by not quoting TOI atleast! No grudges against you Mukund, its just TOI.
In any case they reported it two weeks too late. Here is Munjal’s first reaction:
Later however, he retraceked saying they wont comment.
As an additonal input, heres my take on riya for those of you who couldnt get the early alpha invite:
I am using the alpha version. And as they already said in their disclaimer, its “so alpha it hurts”. My computer hangs up (pentium 2, 512mb RAM) when i try to train it. In more fortunate times, when i did mange to start training, it ended up asking me to identify 90% of the faces. If there is a side pose of a face (if two eyes are not visible) then it mistakes it to be not a face. In group photographs, overlappig faces are ignored too. No personalisable settings to suit my machine configuration, bandwidth settings. Entire folder of full size images open up hanging my comp. The image uploader refuses to exit and takes up all CPU.
its a great thing, though too CPU intesive. People have been trying to do it since ages. Once they are past alpha and into beta, it should start working like a charm.
Munjal already has strarted expressing concerns over the over exposure of riya in blogosphere, further fueled by Google rumour. I think it would make a good marketing case study. While the so much curiosity and media exposure has made it the buzz word in the silicon valley and elsewhere, also thus increasing its valuation many times over for anyone from the GYM trio to aquire; at the same time its so alpha and gives such poor user expereince that it might kill it before it takes off. Moreover, who knows whether there are others working in stealth mode on the same tech and use this all information to improvise their stuff and strategy!
In summary, the quetsion is:
Should one wait till the time the product is reasonably good (beta) or release it earlier (alpha) even ifits too buggy and disgusting.