The Reuters news service is reporting that Swedish software company Polar Rose is planning on making their facial recognition software publicly available on the internet within the first half of 2008. Polar rose is hoping that their service will become the must-have “killer app” of people recognition in digital images across the web.
Polar Rose claims that their recognition service can pick out people’s faces in the growing number of online images, making the images searchable just like words on a web page.
The Polar Rose software will be available as a free plug-in for web browsers and will also be placed on partner web sites. They hope to launch the service on the first partner sites as early as this month.
Current image searches use the text and words attached to an digital picture, which makes things difficult if the pictures are incorrectly tagged or are missing useful identification. Polar Rose will scan 2D digital images and construct a 3D model from the person’s face to create a “faceprint”, which will be stored and indexed for searches. This will allow people to sort and group people’s photos by face and allow people to search for similar photos across the world wide web.
Google also got into digital image search when they took over Neven Vision a year and a half ago.
This could be a major advance in locating a person through images using online people search engines. The better these technologies become at finding people’s faces in images the more likely you will be able to not only locate someone by name, phone number or address in a search, but, eventually, you should be able to locate their image with a digital “faceprint” search as well.
If this technology is ever paired with mapping services like Google Maps, you may be able to someday find a person’s image along with a name, time, date as well as the geographic location that the digital picture was taken in. Just think of the future possibilities as they relate to doing people searches. This could take the task of searching for a person to the next level. Just think of the possibilities.