Viewdle plans to make a reality.Imagine taking a picture using your smartphone and immediately having all of your Facebook friends automatically tagged, without even visiting the website, the app, or looking at the picture itself. This is the future that
We spoke with Jason Mitura, the chief product officer for Viewdle, and he told us that the company would offer a real change in facial recognition technology by taking the process out of the cloud and into the device itself.
The company announced a $10 million investment round today, including backing from Best Buy, Blackberry, Qualcomm and Anthem Venture Partners, pointing to tight smartphone integration in the near future.
"If you put it on the smartphone, it doesn't need to communicate with the cloud," said Mitura. "We're making the analysis and recognition real-time. Our use-case makes it real time such that as you're taking the picture, it's tagged."
According to Mitura, the problem right now is that many users take numerous pictures and then upload them later, often without tagging the content. The movement toward real-time facial recognition in both photos and video will change how content is organized on the Web.
Kuk Yi, a managing partner with Best Buy, said that the company invested with Viewdle because of its movement toward real-time recognition and tagging.
"For consumers, it's all about real-time. Viewdle is leading the market by creating compelling consumer experiences that are both real-time and cross-platform," said Kuk Yi.
While tagged content can drive both pageviews and advertising dollars for publishers, Mitura noted that untagged content was "lost on the social graph."
"As our technology gains adoption," said Mitura, "I think you're going to see it spearheading the change from batch-mode uploading to real-time sharing."
Although Mitura wouldn't confirm any solid dates for product releases, we were told that we would begin seeing something from Viewdle by early next year.
We do have to agree that taking the tedium out of tagging all of your photos would be a welcome change. And having this functionality on-device, rather than in the cloud, could make for some interesting applications involving organizing and searching your media.