Apple acquisition hints facial recognition coming to iPhone

iphotoApple’s latest acquisition hints the company could integrate new facial recognition technologies in the Photos application found on iOS devices.

Apple has acquired the facial-recognition firm, Polar Rose, with the details of the acquisition being kept strictly confidential.

Polar Rose offers software developers access face detection technology that is compatible with various platforms including Windows, Linux, Mac OS X, and even server-side applications. The company also developed software that allowed users to tag, detect, manage, and search for Facebook (including other social networks) friends in Flickr photos.

Polar Rose said in a written statement that as its software became more popular, corporations wanted to license the proprietary algorithms, hence the company now says it would entirely focus on licensing its proprietary software, as it is more profitable.

 Polar Rose has closed its free online facial recognition tagging, album, and search functionalities as a direct outcome of the acquisition.

Apple did not disclose what it intended to do with the acquired assets of the firm, and did not elaborate on the price of the acquisition.

It is very probable Apple will implement the technology in to mobile versions of Photos, allowing users to easily tag, search and manage friends with synchronizing capabilities on iOS powered devices such as the iPhone and iPad.

The technology would also likely be incorporated on the desktop version of iPhoto that would provide more advanced capabilities than of those already found in the application.

Competition in the mobile realm continues to greatly intensify as firms update their mobile operating systems to better compete with hugely Apple’s iOS that saw thousands of people line up for hours when the company launched the iPhone 4.

As more people use their mobile to stay connected via social networks, Polar Rose’s technology would complement the iPhone 4 and give it a strong competitive edge over Google’s Android operating system, at least on a social networking and media level.

Large corporations, such as Apple, normally acquire the assets of smaller emerging firms, and then simply incorporate their technologies in existing products to provide better functionality and more value.

The Apple stock (NASDAQ:AAPL) has reached a record high stock price in the company’s history of $283.23 per share as momentum continues for its iPhone and iPad devices.

Apple is expected to sell additional units of the iPhone 4 as it expands availability of the iPhone 4, which is slated to launch in China in the near future as it has received regulatory approval.

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Peggy holds a Bachelor Arts degree with honors in Economics from York University in Toronto, Canada. She is a Certified Management Accountant (CMA). She has also passed Level I of the Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA) Program. She is also a realtor. Write to [email protected]
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  • Franco J. Torres

    Tagging friends in photos would be neat and probably will happen.

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