Picasa adds Facial Recognition to Photo Sharing
Picasa, Google's free photo sharing site, now has facial recognition for photos. Once you tag the photo with your friend's name, it can then identify your friends in other pictures. The tool seems to learn quite quickly and works pretty well. It has trouble if people are wearing accesories like glasses, or hats.
Google acquired Neven Vision, a key player in face and image recognition, in 2006.
Turn on the “name tags” feature and Picasa will automatically scan the pictures you’ve uploaded, picking out the ones it thinks have faces in them. Then, you can attach name tags to individual photos of people, or to groups of photos the software has identified as showing similar faces. It makes for a fun little game, tagging the people you know with the matching Gmail contact. Picasa quickly starts learning who’s who as you continue to tag your way through your pictures. After tagging for a bit, it will be able to recognize your friends and automatically suggest name tags of the people in your photos. Once the photos have been tagged with names, you can cluster or filter photos based on who’s in them, then create and share slideshows featuring specific friends.
In announcing the move, Adrian Graham, Picasa Product Manager, notes that:
It's not always easy to search through your personal photos, and it's certainly a lot harder than searching the web. Unless you take the time to label and organize all your pictures (and I'll freely admit that I don't), chances are it can be pretty hard to find that photo you just know is hidden somewhere deep inside your computer.
We've been working to make Picasa (Google's free photo-organizing software) even better when it comes to searching for your own photos—to make finding them be as easy as finding stuff on the web. Luckily we've found some people who share this goal, and are excited that the Neven Vision team is now part of Google.