Monday, July 25, 2011 at 5:03PM
Announced earlier today, Google bought PittPatt, also known as Pittsburgh Pattern Recognition, a computer vision start-up out of Carnegie Mellon. This follows the acquisition Neven Vision in 2006 (whose technology is already seen in Picasa).
Guesses on what this means for Google and its users? While it's likely to be used to ensure better facial and object recognition for things like landmarks in Goggles, Picasa and Image Search, long-term use cases could include opting for facial recognition to login into your Android or Chromebook. And as Kit Eaton of Fast Company notes, the investment could also impact Google+ in the shorter term, with people's profiles automatic linking to images and video uploaded by other users.
Google's own Eric Schmidt has been quick to point out that user privacy is of utmost importance, particularly around facial recognition, and the company will be careful to learn from previous lessons around Wave and Buzz (and Facebook's own facial recognition offering recently prompting concerns).
However, as this acquisition shows, ongoing conversations are not stopping the company from investing in the technology first. Check out PittPatt's FaceSort demo (which helps users label and sort photos and videos) above.