JetPac: Google’s Newest Acquisition
Google has just acquired the startup, JetPac. This news might not mean anything to you if you haven’t heard of JetPac, or weren’t aware that the company raised $2.4 million in funding in 2012 before officially launching in 2013. Why did such a small startup raise so much money so quickly? Here’s a closer look at JetPac, and why Google wanted this startup.
A Use for Instagram Photos
What JetPac did, essentially, was gather million of Instagram photos from various Instagram users. By piecing together those photos, JetPac then created city guides. These city guides were composed of the best photos from the top cities in the world.
If you were to look at a JetPac city guide for San Francisco, for example, you would see the recommendations that the startup put together based on all the photos that everyone using Instagram and tagging places in San Francisco has shot.
The guides were useful, fun, and entirely original – let’s face it, you can’t find more unique places to visit than by searching through city tags using Instagram because most of the people using Instagram go to fun and interesting places (otherwise, they wouldn’t be tagging photos – see how that works?).
JetPac guides became immensely popular with those people that used them, but now that Google has purchased the startup, those guides no longer exist – well, the apps are going anyway.
Why Google Bought JetPac
According to some other sources, the technology that JetPac uses to piece together certain elements of photographs is called “neural network technology.” This system uses special algorithms that can find unique pieces of photographs (like spotting lipstick or moustaches), and then piecing those pieces together to map a location on the globe. So, why does Google want JetPac’s technology? Google hasn’t made a statement yet, but there are some speculations floating around.
Some think that Google might be getting into the travel industry, in some manner. Others assume that Google will be taking JetPac’s algorithm technology and using this tech to better develop its own mapping apps.
Others still believe that Google is working on developing artificial intelligence, and the tech that JetPac has created is exactly what the company needs to dive deeper into that market – it’s really hard to tell precisely what Google wants with JetPac, but the startup has since wiped its app from the Apple Store, and you won’t find JetPac anywhere else right now either.
No More JetPac App
Basically, JetPac has sold its technology to Google, and Google will (no doubt) be stripping that tech from what the company originally created. This isn’t a merger, so it’s not likely that JetPac will still exist as it currently does (which may be seen as a bit sad, really), but we’ll have to wait and see what Google does with what JetPac has created.
Whether it’s more artificial intelligence or simply Google’s way to get into travel apps, JetPac did an excellent job developing and selling this original technology – and I’m sure that the guides will be missed by many.