Google has bought the British visual search company Plink, whose technology it will incorporate into its Goggles service.
Plink — the first UK company to be acquired by Google — produces an Android app called PlinkArt, which uses the smartphone's camera to identify works of art. In a blog post on Monday, the company's co-founders Mark Cummins and James Philbin — also the company's only employees — said "the opportunity to take [their] algorithms to Google-scale was just too exciting to pass up".
"For Plink as a company, it's been a short but exciting ride — only four months since our public launch," Cummins and Philbin wrote. "We shot past 50,000 users in just four short weeks, and we've continued to get great feedback and suggestions over the months since then."
Cummins and Philbin added that the PlinkArt app would continue to be available for download, but they would not be updating it as they will be focusing on Google Goggles.
"The visual search engines of today can do some pretty cool things, but they still have a long long way to go," they wrote. "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."