Google buys Plink

Google said it has has bought a UK-based mobile visual search outfit Plink for an undisclosed sum.

The outfit was started by PhD students Mark Cummins and James Philbin and produced PlinkArt, a mobile phone app that purportedly identifies well-known works of art.

In a statement on the Plinkyplonk web site the excited and probably now loaded pair say: "We started Plink to bring the power of visual search to everyone, and we’re delighted to be taking a big step towards that goal today. Google has already shown that it’s serious about investing in this space with Google Goggles, and for the Plink team the opportunity to take our algorithms to Google-scale was just too exciting to pass up."

"For all our users," they fib, "Nothing is changing. PlinkArt will continue to be available for download and work as it currently does today. However, we won’t be updating the app and will instead focus our development efforts on Google Goggles, so you’ll see new functionality appearing there in the future." See?

"The visual search engines of today can do some pretty cool things, but they still have a long, long way to go. We’re looking forward to helping the Goggles team build a visual search engine that works not just for paintings or book covers, but for everything you see around you. There are beautiful things to be done with computer vision – it’s going to be a lot of fun!"

Cummins and Philbin founded Plink while students at the University of Oxford. They won $100,000 at Google's Android Developer Challenge which comprised Plink's sole funding.

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