Theia is an image search software that allows users to upload cellphone camera photos onto a collective server to facilitate search queries and help solve potential crimes.
Theia, the brainchild of a Rice University research team, is an image search software that allows users to instantly upload cellphone camera photos onto a collective server. While privacy invasion may be a concern, the software functions as a tool for law enforcement to solve crimes such as abductions and thefts. Theia can remotely search both the metadata (time and location) and the content of photos on cellphones that are registered with the Theia service. Users simply opt into the system by marking a folder on their smartphones that could be searched by Theia to check their images. The team at Rice has shown that using the Theia system reduces the cost to run an image search of this type by an average of 59%, not to mention the potential crimes the software can help solve.