Searching For Faces

by F.

From, it appears, a press release by the Swedish Research Council, via Physorg.com:

Sweden-based company Polar Rose will soon be introducing a Web-based search engine that can find photographs of people by analyzing pictures and identifying faces. The search engine­-which will be the first of its kind in the world­-is the result of research carried out by Jan Erik Solem at Technology and Society, Malmo University College. He will publicly defend his thesis on Friday, September 29.

Jan Erik Solem is part of a research team in applied mathematics that is working with image analysis and computer vision. In his dissertation he shows how computers can be made, through mathematical processes, to create three-dimensional models of objects or persons on the basis of regular photographs….

Jan Erik Solem himself hopes to soon be living proof that the results of his dissertation can be commercialized. He has started a company called Polar Rose, which has developed a technology for recognizing faces based on his research findings. The product­the Web-based search engine­will be the first in the world that can search for faces and not text.

The search engine will soon undergo testing by a number of beta-users, and roughly by year’s end it will be launched full scale, according to Jan Erik Solem.

“Since there is no such search service in existence today, it’s going to be really exciting to see how it is received. And if it’s a success, then we’ll be saddled with the luxury problem of competing with giants like Google, Microsoft, and Yahoo.”

I seem to recall some other companies trying to do this, too, but maybe I’m just thinking about Riya and Ditto, which aren’t really using facial/visual modeling.

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