LOS ALTOS, Calif. - In-Q-Tel, the CIA-backed
venture firm, confirmed Tuesday it is investing in PixLogic, a
software start-up that has invented a program that can scan millions
of digital images and identify items that might pose security
PixLogic is a Los Altos-based 10 person startup which recently
won U.S. Patent 6,563,959 to cover its new image-searching
The company's mathematical formula analyzes the raw pixels in a
digital file, detects patterns in those pixels and later matches
patterns against a database of known images.
What the CIA has in store for the technology is not being
"The CIA does not want us to speculate at all on how they are
using the software," said Bob McKee, vice president for business
development for PixLogic.
The software ultimately could be used to help authorities scan
digital pictures or videos for threats, or allow Web browsers to
find such images on the Internet.
McKee said the program still has difficulty matching faces
consistently because people can disguise themselves with facial hair
PixLogic his also looking to sell its software to commercial
photography firms, media companies and film studios.
Financial terms of In-Q-Tel's investment were not disclosed.
Information from: San Francisco Chronicle