All posts by Paul Melcher

Paul Melcher is the founder of Kaptur and Managing Director of Melcher System, a consultancy for visual technology firms. He is an entrepreneur, advisor, and consultant with a rich background in visual tech, content licensing, business strategy, and technology with more than 20 years experience in developing world-renowned photo-based companies with already two successful exits.
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Visenze : Visual search 4 years later

In 2015, we interviewed the CEO of then little known visual search company Visenze. Four years later, after raising $20 million in a series C and announcing a deal with Samsung, we caught with Oliver Tan to see how things have changed for his company, the technology involved, the marketplace and more Last time we talked, in 2015, ViSenze was just starting. Four years later and you are now on your Series C, with about 80 employees worldwide. How would you describe the last four…

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What to expect in 2019 (and beyond)

As the year comes to a close, it is an excellent time to review the emerging visual tech trends ( and failures) and predict those that will have a significant impact in 2019 and beyond.  Without further notice and in no particular order, here they are: Eyes in your house : There is a race, right now, to get cameras in your homes.  Siri, Alexa, and Google Assistant voice search are getting eyes, to serve you better. As they insert more deeply into our lives, they…

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Google, Images and rights

Ever since its inception, in 2001, Google Image Search did not show much love to those who create photographs. In fact, when subsequently sued for recreating and publishing thumbnails of images on its result page, it fought back and won. A victory that forever helped devalue pictures thereafter. A reversal of policy Google considered photos as freely available assets to classify and display and by result, helped comfort this illusion to its users. They hugely benefited from the complete absence of a central organization (unlike the music, TV…

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New study analyzes what’s driving the explosion in user-generated videos and hybrid photo-videos

Videos and phodeos surge into the Mainstream Consumer video sure ain’t what it used to be. The category now includes numerous variations, ranging from full-length to short-form narratives, plus what could be called “phodeos”: hybrids of photos and videos such as Boomerang clips, Instagram Stories, and even the (now venerable) GIF animations. Due in large part to these new options that free consumers from the “one (huge) size fits all” straightjacket of the past, motion imaging is more popular now than ever. Are we witnessing a bubble? Or…

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Article 13 : What does it mean for photos ?

Just this past week, the European Parliament’s Committee on Legal Affairs approved amendments to EU’s Directive on Copyright in the Digital Single Market. Among which is included the infamous Article 13 which ” creates an obligation on information society service providers storing and giving access to large amounts of works and other subject-matter uploaded by their users to take appropriate and proportionate measures to ensure the functioning of agreements concluded with rightsholders and to prevent the availability on their services of content identified by rightsholders in cooperation with the…

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What you missed at the 2018 LDV Vision Summit

Every year one enters the hallway of the SVA Theatre in the heart of New York thinking that there is no way the organizers of the LDV Vision Summit can outperform the previous year. And every year you step out two days later, happily disappointed that your prediction was wrong. The combination of the organizing team’s ( Evan Nisselson, Serge Belongie, and Rebecca Paoletti) talent to surface captivating speakers and the topic ( visual tech) seemingly boundless reach into almost every vertical, makes this event…

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LDV Vision Summit ’18: 10 questions to an AR research scientist : Facebook

With the fifth edition of the LDV Vision summit right around the corner ( May 23-24, discount tickets available on the right =>), we approached some of the speakers to get a hint of what they are working on and what they will be speaking about. First of the series is Krishnan Ramnath, Research Science Manager and Technical Lead Mobile at Facebook whose work  for the social media platform is pioneering how most humans will experience AR in the years to come: – A little about…

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Flickr / Smugmug: The frog that ate the bull

Flickr’s acquisition by Smugmug, if anything, has reminded us that the grandfather of photo sharing site is not dead. Yet. Almost hidden in the weekend lull, the news surprised almost everyone paying attention to this space: It’s been a long while since Flickr grabbed the headlines. But beyond the unconventional lack of details, what does this acquisition forecast? Let’s look at the available numbers. Smugmug and Flickr, while sharing photos as a common denominator, have not much in common.  With 90 million monthly users, Flickr is 18 times bigger…

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10 questions to a founder: Imatag

Publish an image online today and there is a very good chance that within a few days, there will be hundreds, if not thousands of copies of it throughout the internet.  None, unfortunately, will bear any information on who is the creator and how he/she can be found. This is not just an issue for professional photographers, who make a living by licensing images, but anyone who creates visuals to communicate, like marketers or social media manager. Because with each reuse comes the damaging potential…

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is Unsplash the new Instagram ?

About a week ago, Unsplash announced that they had raised $7.25 million, along with plans to bring cryptocurrency to its free stock photo service. While most see their move as a potential Shutterstock killer,  Unsplash  could end up becoming a  potent competitor to Instagram, Pinterest, and Snap as they share more DNA . A short review of the hard numbers as those are explicit enough: Over 2,083 Unsplash photos are viewed across the web every second. 1,231 API partners (  include: Trello, Medium, InVision, Google Slides, Lonely…

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