Face.com has developed technology that will let you find photos of yourself, friends and followers that are not tagged or identified with a name. While questionable on the privacy front, Face.com has scanned over 7 billion photos and indexed more than 52 million faces with its Photo Finder & Tagger apps.
Already in business with Facebook, the Tel Aviv-based company has developed proprietary software that will now let any online company embed the face recognition technology onto their Web sites. The tagging widget uses faces.detect to automatically place tags on people's faces, and allows users to add names. It requires no server-side coding for easy embedding, and supports lots of customization options. A few examples of developers already on board include CelebrityFindR, Tagger Widget and PosterYourself.
PosterYourself also uses Facebook to automatically plug people's faces into e-cards and posters, like this one.
A demo tutorial of Face.com's face recognition app that currently exists on Facebook.
Now, beyond Facebook, using the new API, developers can attach the facial recognition tool into both their desktop and Web based photo organizing apps that pull from online photo hosts.
The company was founded in 2009 by Gil Hirsch. It has eight employees and has raised an undisclosed amount of money from Rhodium. Rivals include Apple’s iPhoto software, Google’s Picasa, and Polar Rose.
While this technology is still in beta, it will be interesting to see it develop yet further. For instance, beyond just facial recognition, we often view photos of cityscapes, buildings, points of interest and such that are not tagged. If this was possible, we would not only be able to identify what were looking at, we would also be able to "search" by photos. Presently when you do a Google Image search you are not always that successful in finding just the 'right' photo that corresponds to the 'keywords' you are searching for.
And perhaps that's in the works and part of Face.com's future? - an acquisition by Google themselves. Let's see if that prediction has legs!