Over the last year, almost every time we’ve heard the word “acquisition” it’s been preceded by the word, or rather company, Shutterfly. That’s because Shutterfly has been very busy buying up companies and galleries and, fortunately for users, putting them to work in real ways.
It was less than two weeks ago that the new Shutterfly Mobile app was announced, a result of its Penguin Digital acquisition. And now, in time to steal a little bit of thunder from all of the CES rumors, sources claim that the photo storage and sharing site is acquiring yet another start-up. Read more…
Olympus’ stock price has been recovering quite nicely after an internal probe found no evidence of yakuza involvement (though they did slam upper management as “rotten”). However, rumors of possible takeover attempts persist. An article published by Bloomberg today reported that Fujifilm may be in the hunt for the beleaguered company:
Fujifilm, which makes equipment for medical scans, has been reported as a possible bidder for Japanese camera maker Olympus Corp. Yamamoto, who also is a board member at Fujifilm, declined to comment on a possible buyout of Olympus today.
Fujifilm Chief Executive Officer Shigetaka Komori said last month it was too early to discuss Olympus issues while the third-party panel was still probing the fraud at the camera maker.
Fujifilm has received a lot of praise lately for its sleek X series cameras, and could take another big step towards becoming a digital camera juggernaut if it somehow landed Olympus.
(via Bloomberg via Mirrorless Rumors)
Image credit: Olympus Trip XB401 by Arty Smokes (deaf mute)
Google has acquired UK-based mobile photo search startup Plink for an undisclosed amount.
The company’s sole product Plink Art is an Android application that allows you to look up information about a piece of art by simply photographing it with your phone.
The application was one of the winners of Android Developer Challenge 2, scoring a $100,000 prize for winning in the “Education/Reference” category.
Remind you anything?
Artwork recognition is one of the features offered by Google Goggles, which is what Plink’s founders will be working on at Google.
Since the Plink only has 50,000 users, this is mostly a talent acquisition to improve Google’s visual search technologies.
The announcement posted to Plink’s blog gives a glimpse into where Google would like to go with visual search:
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!
Imagine a world where you can “Google” information about anything by aiming your cell phone at it and snapping a picture.
Divvyshot, a Y Combinator funded service that launched publicly last month, has been acquired by Facebook. Divvyshot’s 3 employees will begin applying their know-how to Facebook Photos and the service will be shut down within 6 weeks, leaving its 40,000 users to find somewhere else to share photographs.
The service was based around the idea that photographs can be better shared between friends and family by allowing people to easily contribute to a pool of photographs based around people, places, and events. For example, a group of friends on vacation could contribute photographs to the same collection, which is called an “event”.
There’s already similar ideas of collaboration built into Facebook (i.e. viewing all photographs tagged with a certain person), but it looks like Facebook wants to take the idea even further.
If you’ve ever edited your Flickr photographs using the default image editor provided by Flickr, then you’ve used the web-based image editing software developed by Picnik.
Whenever you click the “Edit Photo” button above one of your photographs, it opens up the image in the Picnik editor.
Well, Picnik announced today on its blog that it has been acquired by Google. There aren’t many details available regarding the acquisition itself, but the web is abuzz now with speculation as to what Flickr will do.
Thomas Hawk suggests today’s purchase may signal that Google is trying to dethrone Flickr as image-sharing king of the web:
What else makes me think this? Google Buzz. While I consider Flickr superior in a lot of ways to Picasa today, the biggest advantage that Flickr has always held over their competitors is how strong a grip they’ve had on the social aspect of photo sharing. But now that Buzz has arrived on the scene (and your Buzz photos go into Picasa albums by default by the way), it would appear that Google finally has a viable social network to compete with Flickr’s own internal social network inside of Flickr. By combining the social power of buzz, with an enhanced version of Picasa, Google could mount a formidable competing offering to Yahoo’s Flickr.
It’s interesting that Flickr let Picnik slip into Google’s hands after partnering with them for so long.
What do you think today’s news means for Google’s Picasa and for Yahoo’s Flickr?