The photo book sector suffers from an alarming metric. 70% of all photo book projects started are never completed. The value of the photo book market worldwide is estimated at $4bn. If 70% of all projects started are left unfinished, that would indicate that there is a significant amount of money being left on the table.
It’s widely believed that the most significant factors at the heart of this worrying statistic are the time and the effort it takes to make a photo book. While for some this is a worthwhile pastime, for many others it appears to put them off finishing the projects they have started.
“We have been looking in to AI for a number of years, primarily as a means to make photo book creation easier and quicker.” says James Gray, CEO and Founder at Taopix. “It has taken quite some time to find a technology that is right for the job and can reliably build books using AI. Building the books automatically and quickly is one thing, but the books have to be beautiful and meaningful as well.” continues Gray.
Developing photo based AI is expensive and has taken a long time to come to any level of maturity with respect to building photo books. Large tech industry giants have had the deepest pockets when it comes to R&D budgets and for many businesses in the photo book space this has been a very high barrier to entry in developing their own AI based solutions.
“While many large companies have built sophisticated AI for photo analysis, nobody seems to have focussed on what we consider to be our 2 main areas of focus.” says Kevin Gale, CTO at Taopix. “We need AI to firstly help select the best and most relevant pictures for a book, then orchestrate the images and present them in a beautiful and meaningful way. The end result has to emotionally appeal to the end customer, it has to tell a story, and this has been the challenge.” continues Gale.
The new AI enriched version of Taopix will be called simply, Taopix.ai. The product will do all of the things Taopix does today but will come with the added facility of using AI to firstly select the images to be used, then construct stories from those images, and lastly to then present those images in a book in a way that conveys both logic and emotion.
Taopix.ai will analyse images based on quality, location, frequency, and the presence of a whole range of different subjects. Face detection and recognition is a key part of the solution, but Taopix.ai also recognises food, drinks, locations, environments, events, situations to name but a few.
“We felt an absolute obligation to build AI in to our product and help our customers solve the eternal problem of project abandonment.’ says Nigel Lee, Executive Chairman at Taopix. “It simply could not be left to the industry giants to dominate the market. The benefits to the end consumer of this technology are enormous and everyone in the industry should have the ability to offer an AI based product, regardless of size or scale.” continues Lee.
“We firmly believe that Taopix.ai will give all of our customers an amazing advantage in acquiring customers online. We are convinced that our AI solution will dramatically increase conversion rates and significantly reduce project abandonment whether choosing to make photo books offline, online or on a mobile device.” adds Lee. “We believe we’ve built the Holy Grail and that this technology can help our customers unlock the billions of dollars of potential growth opportunity still left in the sector.” concludes Lee.
Taopix.ai will be parameterised and on that basis will allow Taopix customers to launch incredibly meaningful products. Books can be built around stories, themes, people, places, and over certain time periods.
“It is entirely feasible that consumers will be able to tell Taopix.ai to build them a book about a trip to Paris in August 2018 together with their partner or build a book about the birth of their child or a book about a wedding or a party. Taopix.ai will find the pictures, use the best ones, build the stories and make the book. There’s also no reason for this technology to just work as part of the real time user experience, it’s perfectly feasible to foresee that in the future Taopix.ai could also be used to trawl previously abandoned projects and suggest finished books to customers who had perhaps given up trying to make the book themselves” concludes James Gray, CEO and Founder of Taopix.
Taopix.ai has been built in an exclusive partnership with Muvee in Singapore. It will be formally launched at Photokina in Cologne later this month and will be available for pre-ordering at the show and thereafter. Taopix.ai is will be released in Q1 2019.