The startup behind the Prisma style transfer app is turning to b2b space, creating tools for developers that draw on its expertise using neural networks and deep learning technology to power visual effects on mobile devices.
The company has launched a new website, Prismalabs.ai, with this new offering.
Prisma’s co-founders will be offering an SDK for developers wanting to add effects like style transfer and selfie lenses to their own apps, possibly launching an API next week.
Moreover, they also plan to offer another service to developers wanting help to port their code to mobile. This was how the idea for the Prisma app came up. Seeing the app working slowly on the desktop made them realize the potential it would have on mobile devices.
“The first plan is ready to go solution when you have an idea and want to implement, for example, style transfer or object recognition or something like face masks… or Snapchat lenses,” says CEO and co-founder Alexey Moiseenkov, fleshing out what’s coming from Prisma Labs. “If you need this ability we can offer you a ready to go SDK that you can implement in your app.”
Co-founder Aram Airapetyan tells how their AI-powered image segmentation technology could be used to allow Skype users to push a button to change or blank out the background during a video call.
“The second part [of the b2b offering] is we feel that in a lot of companies developers are struggling with porting technologies to mobile,” he continues. “And we feel that we can offer them our own solution that we use internally — internally we have… a platform that can help us to experiment with our research and producing a lot of demo apps for internal usage and choosing the right one.”
The company says that they have been testing the technology with some big companies but they haven’t revealed the names yet.
“We want to explore the CV [computer vision] area and help companies also produce a greater user experience with AI — helping people to communicate easier, to solve their tasks,” adds Moiseenkov.
“We feel that AI can help a lot of companies to improve the user experience a lot. The camera, working with images, filtering, de-noising, a lot of different stuff can happen — and that’s cool. I feel it can improve the overall quality of apps in App Store and Google Play.”
Prisma’s consumer app was the talk of the town last summer, giving people opportunity to transform their photos by applying different graphical styles.
By the end of last year, Prisma had around 70 million downloads. But it also drew the attention of platform like Facebook, who quickly rolled out style transfer features of their own.
Shifting towards b2b is another strategic move, putting the team to offer developers a quickened route for burnishing the feature-set/UX of their own apps, and offering these b2b services with the help of demonstrable AI-powered visual effects expertise.
Although Prisma is shifting towards a different monetization strategy, it’s consumer app is not going anywhere.
“Since the start of this year we were thinking about exploring our opportunities in terms of how to earn money in an efficient way, and we decided to go where we can help companies with computer vision or AI — in terms of more consumer-oriented applications,” Moiseenkov tells TechCrunch.
“We focus on effects; video effects on a mobile camera… We feel this is a really rich area for a company like ours. And also we feel that with our apps in the market we can experiment a lot with different technologies and this pairing can do a lot for us in terms of earning money.”
“We have a very strong R&D team,” adds Airapetyan. “We have lots of guys who are researching and investigating what we can do in terms of different technologies and AI-based products so we’ve been working on these technologies for a while.”