May 6, 2010 11:48 AM by Randall Ache
Face.com Opens Facial Recognition API
Face.com, the developers of the facial recognition technology behind Facebook apps like Photo Tagger and Photo Finder announced that it is opening up its API, which will allow developers to take advantage of this technology anywhere on the web. We had a chat with Face.com founder Gil Hirsch, who talked about the technology, the API, Facebook's Open Graph, and what kind of apps we can expect to see around this API.
Basically, the API allows third-parties to utilize the technology behind Photo Finder and Photo Tagger to create new and unique ways of utilizing facial recognition. Face.com has scanned billions of photos and tagged over 50 million users through these two apps. Between the API and Facebook's Open Graph initiative, imagine how many more will be scanned/tagged.
"What it means for us, is you can now apply facial recognition on your social graph," Hirsch tells WebProNews. You can take the functionality to other websites. "You can take it outside the walled garden [of Facebook]." You can ID your Facebook friends in Picasa or Flickr photos for example.
Hisrch says he's heard two to three hundred people have ideas for what they wanted to do with the technology before they even opened up the API. These things range from retail apps to e-cards, and campaign managers wanting to personalize campaigns. "Everyone came up with a different idea," he says.
The company has some sample apps set up to give developers an idea of the kinds of things that are possible. One such example is the Tagger Widget. This lets users add a Face tagging interface to any image on a webpage. It automatically places tags on people's faces, and allows users to add names.