Shazam to add object recognition to next identification app

6 Mar 2015

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Music identification app Shazam has announced plans to develop its software’s scope to include objects.

Shazam currently allows music fans to identify a song by simply holding their smartphones up for a quick listen, but according to chief executive Rich Riley, the app could soon be upgraded to include items, such as products in retail outlets.

"Shazam is already a verb. We want to expand the universe of what you can Shazam," Riley told Reuters at the Mobile World Congress industry fair in Barcelona.

"The famous blue button that our users love will remain on the home screen but will be able to do much more."

According to Riley, Shazam have raised US$30m for the new initiative from several unidentified billionaires and financial institutions, which is in addition to the US$40m invented by Mexican telecoms billionaire Carlos Slim in 2013. The money will be used to hire new staff and secure partnerships with publishers and content companies.

Shazam was founded in 1999 and launched its first music identification service in 2002. Initially, users in the UK would dial a phone number, hold their phones up to a speaker for 30 seconds, and receive a text with the song title and artist soon after.

Shazam image via Shutterstock

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Dean is a freelance journalist and editor covering media.

editorial@siliconrepublic.com