xcavator.net Exits Beta With 6 Million Images

Posted on 1/15/2008 by Julia Dudnik Stern | Printable Version | Comments (0)

CogniSign, a technology company that specializes in image and video search, has officially launched xcavator.net. The meta image-search engine exits beta testing with 6 million images, which represent the aggregate inventories of four microstock and two rights-managed stock agencies.

Xcavator.net beta-tested with 300,000 rights-managed images from the San Francisco-based Photovault and 1.8 million images from iStockphoto. Travel and nature agency Danita Delimont of Seattle and micro-payment companies Fotolia, LuckyOliver and 123 RF are now also indexed by xcavator.net.

Similar to image and facial recognition algorithms used by image-monitoring companies like Idée and PicScout, xcavator.net uses CogniSign's proprietary Intelligent Image Recognition Technology to enhance keyword-based search. This allows users to use fewer keywords and refine their searches based on visual criteria, such as color and spatial relationships of objects. CogniSign says that the process emulates the way in which a human brain determines visual similarities.

Though xcavator.net targets still image buyers, CogniSign says its technology has broader applications. Video is next in the area of content distribution, as exploding demand for video is fueling a rise in demand for "more human-like" search capabilities. CogniSign also sees security, defense and military applications of its image and video analysis products.

According to CogniSign, research shows that designers, art directors, marketing and communications professionals are incredibly rushed when making final image selections. Xcavator.net intends to speed up the process by offering a large inventory and making the selection process easier and more satisfying.

Even if xcavator.net is successful in making search faster and more user-friendly, buyers will still have to visit the image-owner's Web sites. Xcavator.net is not an e-commerce environment. If a buyer wants to license two images from different collections, it will take a total of three site visits and two separate financial transactions. This may well negate whatever time is saved.

In addition, xcavator.net does not offer any traditional royalty-free stock or rights-managed diversity. Its launch inventory is heavily skewed toward microstock, which accounts for nearly 90% of the 6 million searchable images. However, CogniSign is adding additional image providers and expects to surpass a total of 10 million images shortly.

Danita Delimont, founder and CEO of the rights-managed travel-stock agency of the same name, expects that an alliance with xcavator.net will help convert browsers to buyers. "I know that when potential buyers come to us from xcavator.net, they've already dramatically narrowed their search and are very close to a buying decision. This is extremely valuable to my business," she said.

Copyright © 2008 Julia Dudnik Stern. The above article may not be copied, reproduced, excerpted or distributed in any manner without written permission from the author. All requests should be submitted to Selling Stock at 10319 Westlake Drive, Suite 162, Bethesda, MD 20817, phone 301-461-7627, e-mail: wvz@fpcubgbf.pbz


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