Facial recognition to improve online search

Posted on Saturday, Dec 23 2006 @ 04:12 CET by Thomas De Maesschalck
A Swedish firm called Polar Rose AB aims to make it easier to find photos of familiar faces online.
Polar Rose said it plans to offer free software to make photos searchable on both personal computers and across the Web by analyzing the contents of pictures with pattern recognition technology to locate specific faces within them.

The company said it will allow users to annotate photos with descriptive details, harnessing the collective intelligence of the Web to improve what can be done with computational searching alone on sites like Google (GOOG.O) or Yahoo (YHOO.O).

Polar Rose, which takes its name from a flower-shaped mathematical curve used to plot two-dimensional coordinates, will help consumers to label any photo and in turn to search for related photos of the same or similar-looking people.

"Now we are in the visual era of the Web," Mikkel Thagaard, Polar Rose's vice president of business development. "That will have implications for the kind of information we find."

In its simplest incarnation, Polar Rose promises to help a computer user sort through and group personal photos face by face. More broadly, the software can ferret out similar-looking photos across the Web, company officials said.

About the Author

Thomas De Maesschalck

Thomas has been messing with computer since early childhood and firmly believes the Internet is the best thing since sliced bread. Enjoys playing with new tech, is fascinated by science, and passionate about financial markets. When not behind a computer, he can be found with running shoes on or lifting heavy weights in the weight room.

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