Feeds

Apple borgs Swedish face rec boffins

Jobs picks Polar Rose

New hybrid storage solutions

Apple has acquired Swedish face-recognition outfit Polar Rose, according to multiple reports.

Norwegian website Mac1.no (Google translation) reports that Steve Jobs and company have agreed to purchase all shares in the Malmö-based Polar Rose, which introduced a browser plug-in in 2007 for recognizing faces in photos posted across the web.

More recently, the startup offered a tool specifically for tagging faces on Facebook and Yahoo!'s Flickr photo-sharing service. And in the video below, it touts a mobile app called the Recognizr, which identifies faces in videos and links them with social-networking accounts:

TechCrunch Europe cites "rock-solid sources" in claiming that the acquisition is valued at $22 million. But then it claims these sources were wrong, saying it has confirmed that the value was actually $29 million.

Apple and Polar Rose have yet to confirm the deal. But earlier this month, Polar Rose shut down the free face-tagging service it offered at polarrose.com "This brings an end to several years worth of free end-user face-detection and recognition services from Polar Rose," the company said at the time.

"The service got quite a few users interested and this in turn led to interest by larger companies in licensing our technology. This meant refocusing and that left our free service out in the cold. Although we did try to keep it up to date, this became harder and harder over time, as our licensing business accelerated."

The company offers businesses a server platform known as FaceCloud, which provides face-recognition services for websites. It's this platform that backed the now-defunct free service at polarrose.com. The company also offers a mobile face-recognition library for Android handsets and iPhones known as FaceLib, and this can integrate with FaceCloud.

Apple's rumored acquisition comes just a few weeks after Google snapped up another face recognition and visual search outfit, Like.com. Like.com cut its teeth with a face recognition service known as Riya, but it soon graduated to a visual search engine that let you use photos to search for products across the web.

In other words, face recognition tech can be used to recognize things other than faces. Apple already offers face-recognition technology in its iPhoto and Aperture applications. Known as Faces, this is a means of sorting photos according to who's in them. The technology that underpins the Polar Rose services was originally developed at a pair of Swedish universities. The company employees about 15 people. ®

The next step in data security

More from The Register

next story
Phones 4u slips into administration after EE cuts ties with Brit mobe retailer
More than 5,500 jobs could be axed if rescue mission fails
JINGS! Microsoft Bing called Scots indyref RIGHT!
Redmond sporran metrics get one in the ten ring
Driving with an Apple Watch could land you with a £100 FINE
Bad news for tech-addicted fanbois behind the wheel
Murdoch to Europe: Inflict MORE PAIN on Google, please
'Platform for piracy' must be punished, or it'll kill us in FIVE YEARS
Phones 4u website DIES as wounded mobe retailer struggles to stay above water
Founder blames 'ruthless network partners' for implosion
Found inside ISIS terror chap's laptop: CELINE DION tunes
REPORT: Stash of terrorist material found in Syria Dell box
Sony says year's losses will be FOUR TIMES DEEPER than thought
Losses of more than $2 BILLION loom over troubled Japanese corp
Show us your Five-Eyes SECRETS says Privacy International
Refusal to disclose GCHQ canteen menus and prices triggers Euro Human Rights Court action
prev story

Whitepapers

Providing a secure and efficient Helpdesk
A single remote control platform for user support is be key to providing an efficient helpdesk. Retain full control over the way in which screen and keystroke data is transmitted.
WIN a very cool portable ZX Spectrum
Win a one-off portable Spectrum built by legendary hardware hacker Ben Heck
Saudi Petroleum chooses Tegile storage solution
A storage solution that addresses company growth and performance for business-critical applications of caseware archive and search along with other key operational systems.
Protecting users from Firesheep and other Sidejacking attacks with SSL
Discussing the vulnerabilities inherent in Wi-Fi networks, and how using TLS/SSL for your entire site will assure security.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.