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London-based Blippar takes strides in visual search

Blippar’s visual search platform today has indexed around two-three million objects-it recognises things such as leading brands, fruits, movie posters and dogs among other objects. 

According to a Business Today report, if users download the Blippar app and point the phone’s lens at a dog, it would recognise its breed.

Blippar’s visual search platform today has indexed around two-three million objects-it recognises things such as leading brands, fruits, movie posters and dogs among other objects. 

According to a Business Today report, if users download the Blippar app and point the phone’s lens at a dog, it would recognise its breed.

Founder and CEO of Blippar, Ambarish Mitra, told Business Today that it will take another five years to index 20 per cent of the world. And when that happens, it could revolutionise the way people consume information, or how brands advertise. 

Mitra was visiting the company’s offices in Gurgaon and chatted up with Business Today. He ‘blipped’ a red apple and the information around the fruit popped up on the mobile screen in circles. 

According to the report, Blippar runs on an artificial intelligence engine and employs ‘deep learning’ or machine learning systems. The ability of the app to recognise objects accurately enhances as more people blipp it. “The minimum Internet speed required is 3G, but we are building a 2G-supportive version for India,” Mitra was quoted in the report as saying.

This is Mitra’s fifth start-up. All the previous four – a company that provided free Internet to poor women in India, a travel, an auction, and a social network firm -failed to take off. He finally struck gold with Blippar that started in 2011 in London as a mobile augmented reality advertising platform for brands. 

Customers such as Coca Cola, Pepsico, Nestle, Unilever, P&G use the platform to enable interactive experiences with consumers. 

In March, the company announced a $45 million funding round from Qualcomm Ventures, Landsowne Partners, and an undisclosed private billionaire. According to the Business Today report, recently, Mitra turned down an offer of $1.7 billion to sell the company.

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