There's very little gray area on this one: You're either completely excited by the potential for built-in facial recognition combined with smartphones and social networks, or your entirely creeped out and afraid for the future of the planet.
The future is nearly here and I, for one, welcome our new overlords, who today come to us in the form of a Silicon Valley company called Viewdle that we first wrote about last October. Read on to find out how they plan to make what you see above a reality.
Last October, Viewdle raised $10 million and told us that it's primary function would be to assist with tagging photos on smartphones before they're even uploaded to sites like Facebook, that way they wouldn't get lost in the cloud. Today, however, Austin-based PSFK Salon writes that the company was out and about at the Mobile World Congress showing off a much deeper integration, wherein its visual analysis technology is used to link faces with social media.
Viewdle sits between the camera and the user analysing faces in the camera stream, identifying them, then offering links to Facebook, YouTube, LinkedIn, and other social media platforms. A user can identify and tag people in pictures & videos then pass the information to their social networks. As they tag others the software learns to recognize them, and can even share these new visual profiles with other users. The live view also offers an augmented reality tagging overlay that reveals information about the people around you.
According to Viewdle's website, a number of implementations are on the way, from ViewdleFaces to ViewdlePlaces to ViewdleGames. For now, however, Viewdle Uploader - a desktop program - is the only thing available. Its mobile apps, which it says are coming soon, stand apart from other recognition programs with one big distinction. They do all of the facial recognition procession locally, on the device, instead of outsourcing that functionality to the cloud.
What do you say? Are you stoked or completely creeped out? I know that I could use a little help once in a while and certainly wouldn't mind if a smartphone app could help me out. Maybe we're friends on Twitter already, but I'm blanking on a name or a context. Would it be so bad if I pointed my phone across the room and figured it out?
Fine. For now, I'll suffer in peace, wander over and admit that, once again, I have forgotten your name.