<firstimage=”http://www.makeuseof.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/05/FaceRecognition03.png” />Thanks to the internet, our private lives are more and more exposed online. The amount of data every individual is adding appears to be a drop into the ocean. Does that thought make you feel safe? Think again!
Search engines are becoming ever more smarter in managing the massive amounts of data they are facing. In fact, face search and facial recognition are just a few of the many tools. When used the right way, they quickly unravel what an individual has been up to.
Here are three face search engines that may give you a thrill. Let’s see what they reveal about you or your friends.
facesearch – Face Search Engine
This search engine is as harmless as it can get. It searches for faces based on image tags. So you query the search engine for a name and it will return all matching images containing faces. And as you can see in the example below, it doesn’t appear to be very accurate at that.
Did you know you could make Google search for faces only, by adding a small bit of code? When you go to Google Image Search, enter your query and then add “&imgtype=face” (without the quotes of course) to the end of the URL. It will give you similar results as facesearch above.
You’ll find more information about this hidden Google feature in this article published on Ars Technica.
PicTriev – Face Recognition Search Engine
PicTriev goes one step further by actually searching for similar faces. So what you do is upload a portrait shot or any face photo in .jpg or .jpeg format, with a size no larger than 200KB, and the search engine will return matching images found online. You can also run a demo with a selection of famous photos.
For demonstration purposes, I used one of my funny photos. The approximate age of 20 is very flattering and I’m happy that PicTriev recognized that I was mostly female. Unfortunately, however, my face matches mostly with that of males. Surprisingly, it didn’t come up with any pictures of me that are available online.
It works much better with celebrity images.
– Face Recognition Video Search Engine
Viewdle is a facial recognition video search engine, powered by Reuters Labs.
It analyzes videos frame by frame, searching for faces. Moreover, it adds contextual information to the face recognition data by converting speech to text. All of that is combined in an index, which allows to search for the <em>right person, in the right clip, at the right moment</em>. In other words, it helps you find information and people in videos.
At this point Viewdle can only find famous faces. Just type in a name at the bottom left and you’ll be forwarded to the search page. Here you can also enter a keyword to narrow down the results. Advanced search allows you to refine the search results by picking a video channel and time frame for the video.
Obviously, this type of indexing is highly useful for TV stations, for example to browse their archives for relevant material.
If you’re interested in how to use face recognition software to organize your photos, check out Tim’s article on How To Use Facial Recognition in Picasa Web Albums.
Now what did you find out about yourself or your friend here?
Image credits: 195617