PHILADELPHIA, BARCELONA and VIENNA, Nov. 10, 2020 /PRNewswire/ — Three of the world’s leading providers of image recognition and visual search technology today announced an agreement to merge and form one company focused on part recognition. U.S. based Slyce, Spain-based Catchoom and Austria-based Humai are joining forces to form Partium, a business that offers a solution for the fast identification of parts within industrial and retail environments.
“Our companies each developed compelling and complementary offerings for part recognition,” said Humai CEO Philipp Descovich, who will become CEO of Partium. “Humai is the leader in spare part recognition for industrial and manufacturing industries. Slyce is the leading provider of visual search technology for retail clients like The Home Depot and Leroy Merlin, as well as a new in-store solution, Part Finder kiosk. Catchoom has long-standing experience in large-scale image recognition as well as AI-based solutions for enriching product metadata. All of these capabilities will be provided by Partium, offering an end-to-end solution to the challenges in the identification and ordering of spare parts, and enabling our business to power a larger addressable market.”
The new company will build on Humai’s part-recognition solutions that combine computer vision with “Delta,” a proprietary spare part AI, to achieve a 95% or better exact-match recognition rate of industrial parts. Humai’s customers, including Bosch, Daimler and Deutsche Bahn, leverage this software in mobile apps to identify installed parts as well as loose parts in a warehouse.
“With our part search, we can dramatically decrease the time it takes a technician or consumer to identify a part, and also avoid misidentification and mix-ups,” said Descovich. “For machine builders, Partium is a new and exciting channel to grow their Aftersales business through promotional offers, parts catalogs, and user data analytics that help to predict demand. The ROI is immediate and measurable, not just for our current industrial and manufacturing clients, but also for the automotive and home improvement retailers that Slyce has a history of working with. With Catchoom and Slyce, we have formed a team that can achieve anything.”
The Slyce company, a leading provider of visual search for more than 60 retailers in North America, developed its expertise in part recognition with The Home Depot, which launched Slyce’s camera search in 2015. In addition to rapid consumer adoption of the feature, The Home Depot has highlighted Slyce’s part recognition in several national TV ads. Tractor Supply Company, NAPA Auto Parts, Leroy Merlin, Hayward Pools and AES have all partnered with Slyce around part recognition in recent months.
Identifying spare parts — whether it’s a hex bolt or a link-arm assembly — is hard, especially if you don’t have that domain expertise,” said Ted Mann, CEO of Slyce, who will become president of Partium. “What we realized at Slyce was that our technology was exceptionally good at getting to an exact part match. At first, we did this only with a mobile experience in home improvement and automotive retailer applications. But increasingly, we’re using in-store solutions, like our Part Finder Kiosk, which can truly find a needle in a haystack, identifying any fastener you put inside and blinking a light to show you exactly where to find it in the aisle of a store.”
Catchoom pioneered image recognition and augmented reality, and recently developed a robust, fine-grain image classification engine and product information management service, which enables clients to automatically enrich product data. Metadata management is one of the largest challenges around part identification.
“Slyce, Catchoom and Humai were each solving different pieces of the part search problem,” said Catchoom CEO and Co-Founder David Marimon, who will become the Chief Product Officer of Partium. “By integrating the best capabilities from each, we can have the most complete and powerful solution. Together, we combine the tools to visually identify parts, collect training data, enrich metadata beyond customer’s own catalog information, and build embedded solutions. Whether you’re trying to identify a part in a warehouse or a store or a machine, we’ll have the end-to-end solution.”
“We believe in making the technology modular and platform agnostic,” Descovich continued. “In other words, you can recognize parts using our Partium app, through the Partium SDK embedded in your own ERP app, a Partium kiosk that lives in the warehouse, or however you chose. Our goal is to make your spare part catalog and access to expert support truly available at the shop floor.”
All part-recognition solutions will be developed on the Partium platform, the company’s flagship product. The company will continue to support customers outside of part recognition through its other products. These include the Slyce SDK for visual search in fashion, grocery and home decor; CraftAR SaaS for Image Recognition and AR; and MagicLens for AR renderings in sales materials, trade shows and presentations.
The Partium business will be headquartered in Vienna, with offices in Philadelphia, Barcelona, and New Waterford, Nova Scotia. Slyce’s lead investor, Anzu Partners, and Humai’s lead investor, Berndorf AG, will be the two largest shareholders in the merged company. In addition to CEO Descovich, President Mann and CPO Marimon, the leadership of the company is rounded out by Chief Technology Officer Adrian Ion, Chief Science Officer Tomasz Adamek (former CTO and Co-founder at Catchoom), and Chief Financial Officer Christoph Lehner. The combined team will have 90 employees, including the largest group of seasoned engineers and PhDs in the world that is solely focused on solving the spare part search problem.
For more information on Partium, please visit https://partium.io.
Humai has a long history of innovation in part recognition. The Vienna-based company pioneered mobile computer vision, inventing the first ever mobile Augmented Reality (AR) solution, which was sold to Qualcomm and is since marketed under the name Vuforia (currently a PTC business unit). Humai also built MagicLens, an AR-presentation tool for sales and marketing of parts and machines.
The Slyce company, founded in 2012, grew to become one of the dominant visual search players with the introduction of its award-winning camera-search SDK in 2014. Slyce integrated its technology into the apps and websites of more than 60 major retailers, including Macy’s, Tommy Hilfiger, and Bed Bath & Beyond.
Catchoom was founded in 2011 as a spin-off from Telefónica R&D by two PhDs in computer vision. Initially focused on large-scale cloud image recognition, it launched the CraftAR toolbox in 2014 for cloud and on-device Image Recognition and Augmented Reality, on print, logos, art and packaged goods. Companies including Layar, Metaio, Shazam, Coca-Cola, Bosch, KLM or the Smithsonian Museum all have trusted Catchoom’s technology. Through its global customer base, Catchoom has reached 1+ billion product recognitions to date.
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