New name and vision at the company formerly known as Pixazza

July 27, 2011

You don’t have to twist your tongue pronouncing Pixazza anymore. The Google Ventures-backed start-up has found a new name that rolls off the tongue with less difficulty: Luminate.

The re-christened company is also making some big product changes as it works towards its goal of adding interactive features to all the photos and images on the Web.

Luminate initially offered technology that displayed a pop-up “product carousel” window alongside online photographs. A picture of a celebrity at the Oscars, for instance, could feature a pop-up window showcasing the shoes, purse and other items worn by the celebrity, along with links to various retailers selling the goods.

Now Luminate is preparing to introduce a variety of new interactive pop-up applications for online images. One such app could allow a websurfer to click an image of a famous person, such as a politician and quickly read biographical information from Wikipedia or other sources; a travel-focused app could place a picture of a landmark, like a cathedral, on a pop-up map, making it easier for visitors to find.

And an advertising app analyzes a photograph, such as a picture of a car, and automatically connects to an advertising exchange to find a related ad that can be overlaid on the bottom of the photo.

Luminate says it will introduce dozens of such applications in the future, and also plans to open up its technology platform so that other software developers can create their own applications for Web images.

The company, which has raised $17.75 million in funding from Google Ventures, August Capital and other VC firms since it was founded in 2008, may seek to raise another round later this year, said CEO Bob Lisbonne.

In the meantime, keep an eye on all the picture you see on Web pages – they might soon offer some interesting surprises.

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