OPW INTERVIEW - Oct 5 - I worked in manufacturing automation before prior to 1998, when I started working with dating services. Machine vision was a big deal back then. OculusAI applies machine vision technology to profile image inspection to speed up the approval process. (Full Disclosure: OculusAI is a client of Courtland Brooks) - Mark Brooks
Tell us about OculusAI?
The company started about 3 years ago. I think most people in the idating industry agree that the most important thing for online dating sites is to have a large, high quality database of profiles. Most dating sites review the photos manually, and that means people have to wait a considerable amount of time before the image is published on a site. Around 20% of images uploaded on the major dating sites are rejected. We saw a correlation between the time you have to wait for your profile picture to be published and the conversion. The more we looked into this, the more we realized that there was a need for automating the picture approval process and that is exactly what we do.
We’ve taken very advanced computer vision technology and applied that to the needs of this industry. We help dating sites to automate either parts of, or the whole image review process. By doing so, we can help drive revenue, bring down overhead costs, and improve the perceived quality of the site.
There are other things we do as well. Because the picture can say a lot about the person, we realized that it is a pretty good way of detecting if the user is a serious user, scammer or someone playing around. We can also determine if that profile belongs to someone who is not serious and we can flag that profile.
What else can you offer to dating sites with your technology?
The technology is very advanced. There are a number of things you can do with this type of technology. We want to offer inexpensive, value adding services that drive conversions and improve retention in the dating industry. There are a number of different applications of the technology that can help do this. For example, we are currently experimenting with making images searchable based on facial features like, hair color, eye color, etc. This kind of application would be an amazing search and matching tool for the dating industry.
What are the benefits dating sites will see in terms of using your technology?
By changing the picture approval process from a manual process to an automated process, dating sites can improve conversions quite dramatically, cut the cost and improve revenue. We are able to decrease customer complaints and improve the perceived quality of the site. Let’s talk about integration and how your technology can fit into the role or the function of customer service on an Internet dating site. It is very easy to implement; it is a web based service. Once the user uploads a photo, it is sent to us and we scan through that photo and return a message that the image has been either approved or rejected. Also, if we think it belongs to a scammer, we flag that picture. Based on that information the dating sites can decide what to do.
You’re working with a couple of internet dating sites now; can you talk a little bit about those at all?
I can’t answer this question because of NDA’s. But we work with both European and US customers. Because it is a web based service, it doesn’t matter where we are located or where they are located. It can be anywhere in the world.
Siamak Ayani is the CEO of OculusAI Technologies AB and can be contacted directly at [email protected]