The winners of MobileBeat 2009’s second round of Tesla Awards are innovative startups. One has built an object recognition system and the other a location-awareness service that delivers targeted content for publishers and advertisers.
IQ Engines, winner of the judges’ vote for the most innovative entry, is the product of a small team of computational neuroscientists from Berkeley. The technology attempts to work somewhat like the human brain’s vision system to recognize images and objects. About a third of your brain is devoted to vision, and human vision is in some ways the most developed of all animals. The IQ Engines team has mathematical expertise in sparse coding and neural networks. They’ve matched an object recognition system to a Web server platform, perfect for recognizing objects in images captured by mobile phone users. You can request a demo login to see the technology in action. IQ Engines is looking for online retailers and other companies that might benefit from object recognition, to work together on making product recognition and exploration systems.
Aloqa, winner of the people’s choice award, is a location-aware search and discovery system that works proactively, rather than requiring the user to perform searches. The idea is you can just look at your phone and see your favorite locations, friends, events, and other items close by that you may want to know about. Aloqa’s business model is to deliver channels with relevant content or services to smartphones. It could be places to visit, coupons to redeem, reviews of restaurants, anything at all that ties to the phone user’s location. Aloqa provides publishers and advertisers with ready-made channels that work on iPhone, Android, Blackberry, WinMo, and Symbian phones.