Feeds

Google handset arm grabs facial recog tech firm

Chocolate Factory wants to know who you're looking at

Application security programs and practises

Motorola Mobility, the handset arm of the Googleplex, is acquiring Viewdle, the Valley-based vision specialist offering facial recognition among other things.

Details of the deal haven't been released, but Techcrunch pegs the deal around $40m, and points out that Viewdle has been supplying Motorola with software for years and claims it has been talking to Google about getting itself bought since 2008.

Image analysis is a key differentiator in mobile phones these days, despite being about as far from the act of making a phone call as it's possible to be. Anti-shake is standard fare, along with smile detection (which holds the frame until everyone is smiling) and anti-blink (same process).

Modern phones also allow the user to merge the best bits from multiple snaps – that face, on that body, with that hair – all of which requires complex image analysis so the phone understands the component parts of the image.

That, in turn, leads to augmented reality applications and object recognition, all of which Viewdle can, and will, do.

It will be interesting to see if Google rolls some of that technology into Android, thus bolstering its war with Apple, or drops facial recognition into Google+ to up the ante in the (largely forgotten, but ongoing) battle against Facebook. Or perhaps Google will keep the tech within Motorola Mobility to differentiate its Android handsets from those of the competition.

It was Motorola Mobility that made the purchase, as part of Google, so it's also possible it just wanted to stop paying royalties on the Viewdle software already being used in Motorola devices.

The truth is no doubt some combination of the above, but does demonstrate how important, and advanced, image analysis is becoming – to the point where one only waits for the right moment to take a snap when playing a round of Shutter Chance. ®

HP ProLiant Gen8: Integrated lifecycle automation

More from The Register

next story
Google Nest, ARM, Samsung pull out Thread to strangle ZigBee
But there's a flaw in Google's IP-based IoT system
Want to beat Verizon's slow Netflix? Get a VPN
Exec finds stream speed climbs when smuggled out
US freemium mobile network eyes up Europe
FreedomPop touts 'free' calls, texts and data
'Two-speed internet' storm turns FCC.gov into zero-speed website
Deadline for comments on net neutrality shake-up extended to Friday
NBN Co execs: No FTTN product until 2015
Faster? Not yet. Cheaper? No data
Oh girl, you jus' didn't: Level 3 slaps Verizon in Netflix throttle blowup
Just hook us up to more 10Gbps ports, backbone biz yells in tit-for-tat spat
UN to Five Eyes nations: Your mass surveillance is breaking the law
And Navi Pillay calls for Snowden to be protected
prev story

Whitepapers

Top three mobile application threats
Prevent sensitive data leakage over insecure channels or stolen mobile devices.
The Essential Guide to IT Transformation
ServiceNow discusses three IT transformations that can help CIO's automate IT services to transform IT and the enterprise.
Mobile application security vulnerability report
The alarming realities regarding the sheer number of applications vulnerable to attack, and the most common and easily addressable vulnerability errors.
How modern custom applications can spur business growth
Learn how to create, deploy and manage custom applications without consuming or expanding the need for scarce, expensive IT resources.
Consolidation: the foundation for IT and business transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.