UPDATED 09:00 EDT / JANUARY 23 2024


Wasabi acquires AI-powered video indexing technology from GrayMeta

Cloud storage vendor Wasabi Technologies LLC is acquiring the Curio AI content indexing engine from GrayMeta Inc. and will incorporate it into a new artificial intelligence-powered storage offering for the media and entertainment industry.

Wasabi sells storage to business customers on a flat rate pricing plan at a significant discount to the pricing of the major cloud infrastructure providers. It said the new offering would enable organizations with large amounts of video to index it quickly and generate metadata that enables specific media segments to be retrieved based on people, places, events, emotions, logos, landmarks, background audio, and other elements. Curio AI can also transcribe speech, summarize documents and translate into over 50 languages.

Without indexing, large video libraries can be equivalent to “9 million volumes in a library without a card catalog,” said Wasabi Chief Executive David Friend. Organizations with large video archives “told us moving to the cloud solves the access problem, but they still couldn’t find anything. Some were hiring interns to sit in booths and go through tapes with a clipboard” to index video content, he said.

Simple to train

Curio AI provides a dashboard interface video owners can use to instruct the AI engine what to look for. “It’s a well-packaged solution with a great portal we can deploy almost instantly so you can view your content, search it with and upload libraries of faces and images to train the engines,” Friend said. “It’s very fast to deploy.”

Indexed archival video has many uses, said Whit Jackson, vice president of Wasabi’s global media and entertainment division. “When someone scores three goals in a soccer game, we can immediately find a video of the last time it happened, or we can put together a highlight package to celebrate a player,” he said. “This saves hours or days of time.”

Indexing isn’t fast enough for instant video replays, but it can unlock large volumes of stored content. Jackson noted that a broadcast of a sporting event typically generates orders of magnitude more video than fans see live. That trove can be reused at other times. Having access to indexed archival video reduces the need to license supplemental “B-roll” content and creates its own licensing potential.

Content editing

The technology can also be used to edit or remove content that may be considered offensive in some regions as well as to change logos and generate reports for advertisers on how long and how often their logo appears in broadcast content.

“There are 400 to 500 exabytes of video out there, and we want all that video archive data to be in Wasabi,” Friend said. “We had solved the price problem but not the problem of how to make it useful until now.”

The company will have competition in that area. The big three hyperscalers have similar technology in Amazon Web Services Inc.’s Rekognition, Microsoft Corp.’s Azure AI Video Indexer and Google LLC’s Video AI.

The terms of the deal weren’t disclosed. GrayMeta CEO Aaron Edell will join Wasabi as senior vice president of AI and machine learning along with most of Curio AI’s developers.

The new service, which will be rolled out at the National Association of Broadcasters conference in April, will combine cloud storage and video indexing “at a slightly higher price than our standard service,” Friend said. There are no plans for a consumer product.

Image: GrayMeta

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