I really like this idea and thought I would share. Us Caribbean folks like to add our photos to facebook, myspace, take pictures at events and etc. This technology will allow costumers to purchase items in the picture and you may be able to make money from it.

(Credit: screenshot by Stephen Shankland/CNET)

Google is joining a $5.75 million investment round in Pixazza, a start-up that hopes to profit by overlaying photos on the Web with links that let people buy the products in the images.

The Mountain View, Calif.-based company is now launching the technology for general use by advertisers, Web publishers, and the network of self-appointed but screened specialists who identify the products in the photos, said Chief Executive Bob Lisbonne. The company is starting with the apparel industry but plans to expand to home design and furnishings, travel, electronics, and sports starting later this year, he said.

Lisbonne likens Pixazza's technology to a photo-based version of Google's AdSense, which analyzes text on publishers' Web sites and displays what it deems to be relevant ads. AdSense is used widely by publishers to generate income from their Web sites without having to hire an advertising sales force.

Given the similarity to AdSense, perhaps it's not a surprise the search giant responded when Pixazza sought funding. Google employees have been spotted with Google Ventures name tags, but it's not clear whether the Pixazza funding is part of that project. Google is cagey about Google Ventures: "This is a project we're working on, but we're not ready to share any details right now," spokesman Andrew Pederson said.

Other investors in the round include August Capital and CMEA Capital, the company said. Individuals who've funded the company include angel investor Ron Conway, former eBay Chief Operating Officer Maynard Webb, and Facebook Chief Financial Officer Gideon Yu, the company said.

The company will use the funds for research and development and for sales and marketing, Lisbonne said.

Lisbonne and Chief Technology Officer James Everingham have deep Internet roots. Both worked at browser pioneer Netscape Communications, and Everingham recruited more from that background for the company's technology team. Everingham also was CTO of LiveOps, a company that offered call center technology with a network of more than 20,000 independent remote operators handling the phone calls.
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