Wouldn’t it be nice if there was an App that you could snap a pic of someone and it will automatically tell you who they are ? Just like it tells you when you upload a pic onto Facebook. Just like “Shazam” app is to music, I want a “Shazam” for people.
Well, looks like this might actually be possible as Facebook continues to add to its arsenal of products by buying a Facial recognition software company:
Face.com helps users tag photos and find images online by distinguishing facial features on social networks and photo-sharing sites. Facebook has been using the Photo Tagger application since 2007 and is one of the most popular feature on Facebook. At a point Face.com decided to broaden its horizon and moved into the cellular world offering its recognition tag facility together with Converse (Israeli mobile operator). It then released its API allowing other developers to use its platform in their own applications.
In 2010 it secured funding from the “Russian-Google” Yandex (Russia’s most-used search engine), and investing firm Rhodium which is rumoured to be $5million – a short 2 years later Facebook came knocking with cash and stocks. Whilst the exact terms of the deal are not disclosed initial rumors leaked by an Israeli Business publication had set the price at $100 million however other Israeli media is reporting that its closer to $50 million.
According to the announcement made on Face.com’s website:
“Our mission is and has always been to find new and exciting ways to make face recognition a fun, engaging part of people’s lives, and incorporate remarkable technology into everyday consumer products. If you’re anything like us, Facebook is a part of your life every single day. We keep up with our friends and family, share interesting (or mundane) experiences from our daily lives, and perhaps most importantly for us, we share a LOT of photos.”
Now that Facebook owns the tech that drives its most popular feature of tagging friends in photos, we should be seeing a must better, smoother and better tailored system for tagging of friends in our pics. As Face.com has a mobile app, this will naturally be extended to the mobile devices too enhancing the Facebook offering on both the desktop and the mobile platforms. I wonder how long before an app is released that marries up your contacts automatically with any pics you take ? oh wait, the Galaxy S3 already does that…
Obviously there will those privacy concerns, however Facebook already has the facility that allows to selected whether you want to be tagged in a photo and even receive an email/ update every time someone does tag you in a photo. You do retain the control to some degree.
To the people at Face.com – Mazeltov on being part of the Facebook family. Not too shabby for an 11-person company out of Israel’s silicon valley.
Oh, before I forget, please can you release an Android version of the app…tick tock…