Facial recognition, a technology that reminds us of law enforcement and Mission Impossible movies, is making its wave in the news again. This time, it is Google introducing “Find My Face” on Google+ to compete with Facebook’s social dominance.
Built on its picasa technology, “Find My Face” is something you have to specifically opt-in to. Though identifying and tagging of all our faces by robots still sounds creepy to me in a public and social context, I think it will inevitably make its way into our private lives in the future sooner than we think. One recent demonstration is this augmented mirror where mirror is pulling weather, commute, and news. What if… this mirror can read your facial expression and send you a joke when you’re down? The possibilities are endless once we figure out where to use it. The challenge to overcome here is still the same old one – privacy and the control of that privacy especially in the United States where privacy heavily emphasized.
In China, where privacy is less advocated, might be a more viable market place to incubate face recognition ideas. One that I discovered yesterday is called “Face-API, 人脸信息API” an app that was submitted to China’s cloud computing innovation competition sponsored by the Grand Cloud (an Amazon AWS like service in China).
The basic idea is to identify a person’s emotional states by reading his/her face. The project enables face-recognition of the gender, age and other important features of the face. The team that pioneers this service has now created an API to let other developers contribute and create useful applications in the future.
Speaking of applications, I think facial recognition used in the area of personal security and communication will be adopted first. One such application, Facecash is a mobile payment application which links people’s face with his or her payment information.
What other ideas can you think that you might use in facial recognition? We welcome your comments and feedback.