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With Millions of Annotated Images, ThingLink Invests in Machine Learning

Andrew Beelitz

ThingLink is excited to announce that it has appointed its former CTO Janne Jalkanen to lead ThingLink’s new data team in the role of Head of Machine Learning. ThingLink’s image and video annotation platform is used by over 4 million online publishers, educators and students to transform their visual assets into engaging discovery and learning experiences.

“One of our main goals in the next few years is to make 360° publishing accessible and affordable for everyone,” says ThingLink’s founder and CEO Ulla Engestrom. “Contextual image data is key to developing great user experiences for both faster content creation and navigation.”

When a user annotates an image with ThingLink, they add a rich layer of media to label people or objects in a specific location of the image or to give context that makes the image more meaningful. These annotations provide ThingLink with a valuable set of data on not only what is in the image, but how different images may relate to each other, or how they may relate to different kinds of learning goals. ThingLink also collects interaction data from over 40 million uniques monthly.

One major application for ThingLink’s image data is 360° publishing because it is easier for a viewer to check additional information or call-to-actions directly from the images, instead of having to use a keyboard for navigation. ThingLink users are already creating thousands of immersive learning experiences each month, and this is expected to accelerate with the recently launched Teleport 360 Editor for iPads and coming soon to Android tablets.


“Thinglink has a unique dataset of millions of interactive images that can be used to develop next-generation visual browsing and learning experiences,” says Janne Jalkanen. Before joining ThingLink Janne was the Director at Nokia’s Early Technology Validation Department. More recently, he served as the Chief Architect at Bitbar Technologies developing mobile monitoring systems.  Janne has a Masters in Physics and Virtual Reality, and he holds over forty technology patents.

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