updated 12:45 pm EDT, Sat July 23, 2011
Google acquires PittPatt for Android, more
Google wrapped up the week by acquiring PittPatt. The Pittsburgh-based company is being bought for facial recognition that it has used both for basic face detection as well as live face tracking during live photo and video capture. PittPatt gave clues that its technology would likely be used for as little as basic photo sorting to "complex video and mobile applications" in Android.
Facial recognition has already been playing a role in some of Google's work. It will play an important role in Ice Cream Sandwich, where camera-based apps can automatically focus on whoever's speaking in a multi-person camera view. Google has also considered the possibility of using facial recognition in photo searching and Google Goggles but has deliberately shied away due to the major privacy issues involved.
Apple, frequently a motivating factor in the deals, already has face detection in iPhoto but little in mobile. iOS 4 and 5 only let users import their Faces collections and don't automatically track and organize faces captured from the camera itself.