YouTube just announced a useful new feature: an easy face blur option. The announcement says the feature is aimed for news and human rights agencies to protect privacy and identities especially if posting images of activists who may need to remain anonymous or if minors are present in the videos and privacy is a concern. Read more…
Facial recognition service Face.com has announced a new feature in its API: age detection. After analyzing a photograph of a person’s face, the software returns three values: minimum age, maximum age, and estimated age, along with the confidence level of the guesses. Applications for the new technology include enhanced parental controls and targeted advertising. If you want to test out the service yourself, you can play around with the API here (in the photo above, the correct age is ~47).
We’ve all seen photographers make mad dashes into group portraits, hoping to get into position before the camera’s self timer automatically snaps a photograph. Apple wants to make those a thing of the past. A new patent filed by the company (#20120057039) describes a new and smarter self-timer system that uses facial recognition in addition to the standard timer. Using a picture of the photographer’s face, the camera will wait until the shooter is in the scene before starting the countdown, ensuring that everyone in the photo has the same amount of time to put on a picture perfect smile.
Canon’s latest compact cameras at CES this year have some fancy new facial recognition features that assist in portrait shots. Up to 12 people can be stored in the camera. Simply snap a photo of your friends face, provide the friend’s name (and birthday if you wish), and the camera will recognize your friend from that point forward. In group shots, the camera will give your friends’ faces preferential treatment, making sure that they’re properly in focus and exposed. Read more…
The Apesnake Photobooth is a novel photobooth triggered by facial expressions. Created by Che-Wei Wang & David Penuela, it detects the eyes and mouth of the subject and triggers the shutter on a Canon 1000D when they’re found to match a desired expression (they chose the Manwolf face). The booth also automatically uploads photographs to a dedicated Facebook page. Read more…
Facial recognition features are appearing in everything from cameras to photo-sharing sites, but have you thought about the different security and privacy concerns it introduces? Fast Company has published a piece on how mobile apps in the future may be able to quickly look up your identity, your personal information, and perhaps even your social security number!
[CMU researchers] used three relatively simple technologies to create their face recognition system: An off-the-shelf face recognizer, cloud computing processing, and personal data available through the public feed at social networking sites such as Facebook [...] Combining the data gathered from the face recognizer hardware with clever search algorithms that were processed on a cloud-computing platform, the team has performed three powerful experiments: They were able to “unmask” people on a popular dating site where it’s common to protect real identities using pseudonyms, and they ID’d students walking in public on campus by grabbing their profile photos from Facebook.
Most impressively the research algorithm tried to predict personal interests and even to deduce the social security number of CMU students based solely on an image of their face–by interrogating deeper into information that’s freely available online.
Facial recognition technology has become ubiquitous in recent years, being found in everything from the latest compact camera to websites like Facebook. The same may soon be said about location recognition. Through a new project called “Finder“, the US government military research division IARPA is looking into how to quickly and automatically identify where a photograph was taken without any geotag data. The goal is to use only the identifying features found in the background of scenes to determine the location — kinda like facial recognition except for landscapes.
If ordinary citizens have the right to photograph police in public places, what about the other way around? That’s a question that’s sure to be asked often in the coming days, as 40 law enforcement agencies across the US are planning to use iPhones to photograph civilians for the purpose of identifying wanted perps. The system, called Mobile Offender Recognition and Information System (MORIS), costs $3,000 apiece and will be able to do facial recognition searches on a database of known criminals. Photographers’ rights will apply to cops too — police won’t be required to ask permission before snapping a photograph of your face!
Tagging friends in massive group photographs is about to get a whole lot easier. Facebook has just announced “tag suggestions”, which uses facial recognition technology to automatically group together photographs that have the same face in them.
Because photos are such an important part of Facebook, we want to be sure you know exactly how tag suggestions work: When you or a friend upload new photos, we use face recognition software—similar to that found in many photo editing tools—to match your new photos to other photos you’re tagged in. We group similar photos together and, whenever possible, suggest the name of the friend in the photos. [#]
While many people will probably opt for the old fashioned tagging method to have more control over the process, this feature will undoubtedly save many users a good deal of time. The feature will begin rolling out to users in the US over the next few weeks.