Biometric company acquired by Google
25 July 2011 18:26 GMT

Google snaps up face rec company

Not to be outdone by FaceBook, Google is taking steps towards implementing facial biometrics, with its latest move being the acquisition Pittsburgh Pattern Recognition (PittPatt). PittPatt provides technology can search images for faces, determine if faces are the same person and track faces in video sequences. Recently it released software that improved performance by expanding the range of yaw angles for which recognition is possible.

Only in the last few months Google appeared to be veering away from implementing facial biometrics on the grounds of privacy concerns. But this latest acquisition shows that Google is hedging its bets, and considers the technology (alongside other computer vision applications) worth investing in.
PittPatt began its life at Carnegie Mellon University's Robotics Institute in the 1990s and continued with the launching of Pittsburgh Pattern Recognition (PittPatt) in 2004.

A statement on the company's website said: "We've worked hard to advance the research and technology in many important ways and have seen our technology come to life in some very interesting products. At Google, computer vision technology is already at the core of many existing products (such as Image Search, YouTube, Picasa, and Goggles), so it's a natural fit to join Google and bring the benefits of our research and technology to a wider audience. We will continue to tap the potential of computer vision in applications that range from simple photo organization to complex video and mobile applications."