Google is watching more than streets with the addition of facial recognition software
In a week which has seen Google enter the browser wars with the beta version of Chrome, a more subtle innovation has been introduced to the Google Picasa photo collection products.
The name "Picasa"
originated from three sources. Influenced by the Spanish painter Pablo Picasso, the Spanish phrase "mi casa", meaning "my house" and the popular use of "pic" for picture or private art.
The popular free download from Google was originally developed by a Neven Vision
a company which Google acquired in 2006.
Picasa, a popular tool for image management, now has a feature that is normally only found in the field of biometrics,
commonly used in security and law enforcement environments.
now allows Picasa users to tag and organize images
Picasa's facial recognition technology will ask you
to identify people in your pictures that you haven't tagged yet. Once you do and start uploading more pictures, Picasa starts suggesting tags for people based on the similarity between their face in the picture and the tags you already put in place for them.
In security applications, Facial Recognition normally associates facial features to names and faces in a vast data base.
It is not known if Google will be creating such a data base for it's users as it has for photos of homes and addresses found in Google Earth
, and Google Maps.