Apple Reportedly Purchases Face Recognition Company Polar Rose

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According to a report [Google translation] from Mac1, Apple has acquired Swedish face recognition firm Polar Rose. The information appears to have been confirmed by Swedish news service Rapidus and sources for IDG News Service.
Company CEO Carl Silbersky would today not comment on the affair.

"I do not know what this is about," he says, and would otherwise not give any comments.

The same information comes from the company's Chief Technology Officer Jan Erik Solem. Other sources close to the Polar Rose, however, confirms that the deal is, if not completely, at least in the final stage. News Service Rapidus claims to have gotten over the board meeting from the beginning of the month in which it appears that Apple is now the sole owner of the company.
Polar Rose has developed several tools related to face recognition, including for server-side and mobile applications. The company currently advertises as its primary product its FaceCloud implementation for social networks and photo hosting sites to allow for streamlined tagging and face recognition. Polar Rose's mobile product, FaceLib, is a shared library for the iPhone and Android platforms that allows for face detection, tracking within video, and on-device recognition.

One example of Polar Rose's FaceLib technology is the Recognizer concept for "augumented ID" of which the company has been a co-developer. A video demonstrating the concept is available on YouTube.

Late last month, Polar Rose announced that it was shutting down its consumer-focused Flickr and Facebook tagging product, and followed that up by announcing just a week later that it would be shutting down its entire free face-tagging service. At the time, the company claimed that it was unable to keep up with customer service requests and needed to focus its efforts on its face recognition technology. It now appears that that decision was likely motivated by Apple's pending acquisition of the company.

Apple has utilized face recognition technology for several years in its iPhoto application, but its apparent acquisition of Polar Rose signals an expanded interest in using it for mobile and/or video applications.

Just last week, we discovered that Apple had acquired UK-based IM-Sense Ltd for its "eye-fidelity" technology related to color correction in images, particular for HDR photos such as those employed in Apple's new iOS 4.1.

Article Link: Apple Reportedly Purchases Face Recognition Company Polar Rose
 

supmango

macrumors 6502
Feb 17, 2008
413
0
Interesting idea. I am sure Apple will need to take some time to refine it and add a bit more functionality. It does not seem particularly useful by itself.
 

RiceRacerDX

macrumors 6502
Jan 31, 2009
386
0
I see this become no more popular than Ping. The iPhone is quickly becoming Apple's platform for little parlor tricks to show off to your friends once or twice and never really use them thereafter.
 

heisetax

macrumors 6502a
Jun 12, 2004
943
0
Omaha, NE
Android future use

Will this cut them out of the Android market. Will this make Apple even more like MS in that MS seems to like to purchase the competition to keep it out of the Mac & Linux regions?
 

adamwhiteley

macrumors newbie
Sep 3, 2010
5
0
faces and places

looks like Apple's desperate to get in on the social networking side of thinks whilst adding value to current product line up (in particular facetime and iphoto/aperture faces tagging).

I wouldn't be surprised in the near term that other augmented reality app developers won't be brought up by apple or google such as layar to be integrated in either companies hardware/software.

Both companies seem to keen to 'own' as much information of the central starting point of any social network which is 'us' and our data fingerprint - and what is more unique than our faces

ps anyone know of a good plastic surgeon?
 

Stelph

macrumors member
Jan 29, 2008
37
2
I dunno, I could see this being quite useful, for example face recognition as an unlock rather than using a password on an iPhone/Mac, or perhaps face recognition to switch between users?

Not game changing but certainly useful
 

3583582

Suspended
Jan 6, 2009
163
0
I dunno, I could see this being quite useful, for example face recognition as an unlock rather than using a password on an iPhone/Mac, or perhaps face recognition to switch between users?

Not game changing but certainly useful
Agree. I hardly think they bought them for social networking etc, but good face recognizing and the technology behind it can be useful in many ways.
 

Glideslope

macrumors 603
Dec 7, 2007
6,480
3,563
A quiet place in NY.
I dunno, I could see this being quite useful, for example face recognition as an unlock rather than using a password on an iPhone/Mac, or perhaps face recognition to switch between users?

Not game changing but certainly useful
Certainly useful, and perhaps revenue input form licensing?
 

retroneo

macrumors 6502a
Apr 22, 2005
720
92
iPhoto uses facial recognition licensed from Omron. It's very processor intensive and unsuitable for the iPad.

Polar Rose's solution is already ported to iOS and has great performance and accuracy.
 

JoEw

macrumors 68000
Nov 29, 2009
1,524
881
Theres a lot of potential with this software.
Using face print to unlock iphone
Recognizing voice commands better by reading lips AND voice.
Perhaps apple would make a social network called "Faces" where your iphone recognizes people through pictures and gives you there facebook and name if they signed up for the service. Probably a very bad privacy thing but a lot of people would sign up for it.
 

jeznav

macrumors 6502
Aug 10, 2007
453
0
Eh?
I dunno, I could see this being quite useful, for example face recognition as an unlock rather than using a password on an iPhone/Mac, or perhaps face recognition to switch between users?

Not game changing but certainly useful

Yeah but that has a flaw because someone can just take a picture of you, print it out, then BAM! instant access. I think it should be used in combination with voice prints. But then someone can just record your voice the play it back...sigh..:(

I think face recognition shouldn't be used alone as a key to unlocking services.
 

pmz

macrumors 68000
Nov 18, 2009
1,949
0
NJ
Theres a lot of potential with this software.
Using face print to unlock iphone
Recognizing voice commands better by reading lips AND voice.
Perhaps apple would make a social network called "Faces" where your iphone recognizes people through pictures and gives you there facebook and name if they signed up for the service. Probably a very bad privacy thing but a lot of people would sign up for it.
All of which should NOT happen, because it's a privacy nightmare!

Do you realize, the way this information is collected and stored, the digital bioscan of you this creates?

Unreal that ANYONE would find this is to be a good idea.
 

Full of Win

macrumors 68030
Nov 22, 2007
2,615
1
Ask Apple
Are they saying it will scrape FaceBook and the like for profile pictures that match the picture you take, or does the person you take a picture of have to set up an account before you can be used this to find them?

If this searches FaceBook, then peoples attitudes seems like the biggest impediment for this thing to work. If you were to point a camera phone directly at the face of most people, you would really tick them off. Even if you are doing it with the best of intentions, most people don't like to be photographed like this.
 

ctdonath

macrumors 65832
Mar 11, 2009
1,502
483
Sure face recognition as an unlocking feature is not very secure (to wit show it a photo of you), at least it's a lot more secure than "slide to unlock", and maybe even faster as it just has to look at you rather than wait for the unlock gesture.

At which point it knows who you are and which device you are using. Even when you stop using it you're likely nearby (it's in your pocket or bag).

And now FaceTime has a huge win: it knows where you are, and what device to call.
The telephone model has, since Alexander Graham Bell, been based on contacting a device,. We may talk about "your phone number", which in reality is "the number of your phone" - referencing the device, not you. With a biometric identifier (your face), and a means to often check who is using what device, videophone services (to wit FaceTime) can find and contact you the person regardless of which/whose device you are using.

In the long term, this becomes a huge win for cloud computing: your digital life just moves to whatever device you are looking at.
 

carmenodie

macrumors 6502a
Apr 25, 2008
775
0
looks like Apple's desperate to get in on the social networking side of thinks whilst adding value to current product line up (in particular facetime and iphoto/aperture faces tagging).

I wouldn't be surprised in the near term that other augmented reality app developers won't be brought up by apple or google such as layar to be integrated in either companies hardware/software.

Both companies seem to keen to 'own' as much information of the central starting point of any social network which is 'us' and our data fingerprint - and what is more unique than our faces

ps anyone know of a good plastic surgeon?
If apple got into social networking it would blow that crap facebook off the map.facebook is pure dodo to the nth degree!!
 

alent1234

macrumors 603
Jun 19, 2009
5,663
152
Sure face recognition as an unlocking feature is not very secure (to wit show it a photo of you), at least it's a lot more secure than "slide to unlock", and maybe even faster as it just has to look at you rather than wait for the unlock gesture.

At which point it knows who you are and which device you are using. Even when you stop using it you're likely nearby (it's in your pocket or bag).

And now FaceTime has a huge win: it knows where you are, and what device to call.
The telephone model has, since Alexander Graham Bell, been based on contacting a device,. We may talk about "your phone number", which in reality is "the number of your phone" - referencing the device, not you. With a biometric identifier (your face), and a means to often check who is using what device, videophone services (to wit FaceTime) can find and contact you the person regardless of which/whose device you are using.

In the long term, this becomes a huge win for cloud computing: your digital life just moves to whatever device you are looking at.
i might have to try this

i have a lenovo laptop with this feature but never used it. going to have to try it just to see if photos will unlock the computer
 

nelmat

macrumors 6502a
Jul 10, 2008
798
58
Well, if this technology is able to scan a video feed in realtime, then imagine the potential for game control...
 

kyjaotkb

macrumors 6502a
Nov 20, 2009
677
358
London, UK
perplex

I've been trying to use the face recognition functionality in my Toshiba laptop (they all ship with it, it's a small software that integrates in the Win Vista/7 logon screen). It can optionally replace user credentials to unlock your Windows session. Used with the built-in webcam, it's total crap. it never recognizes me. It needs bright natural lighting.
It just adds stress and complexity to the device. Thus a pointless feature for a home computer.

I'm sure Apple can do something better. But if you want some kind of biometric identification input, use fingerprints...

BTW i find the "secure password" function of the iphone already quite ok, it even periodically asks you to change your pwd, that's a neat attention.
 

Blakjack

macrumors 68000
Jun 23, 2009
1,800
311
Now that's the future. Shouldn't be any privacy concerns in my book. This is no worse than what facebook already does. You shouldn't make anything public that you don't want people to see.
 

Boghog

macrumors member
May 7, 2007
89
0
Sure face recognition as an unlocking feature is not very secure (to wit show it a photo of you), at least it's a lot more secure than "slide to unlock", and maybe even faster as it just has to look at you rather than wait for the unlock gesture.
Plus it seems they can detect the orientation of a face (cf video). Lets say you have to nod at your phone to unlock it that would make it impossible to unlock it with a photo.
 

paul4339

macrumors 65816
Sep 14, 2009
1,404
666
I've been trying to use the face recognition functionality in my Toshiba laptop (they all ship with it, it's a small software that integrates in the Win Vista/7 logon screen). It can optionally replace user credentials to unlock your Windows session. Used with the built-in webcam, it's total crap. it never recognizes me. It needs bright natural lighting.
It just adds stress and complexity to the device. Thus a pointless feature for a home computer.

I'm sure Apple can do something better. But if you want some kind of biometric identification input, use fingerprints...

BTW i find the "secure password" function of the iphone already quite ok, it even periodically asks you to change your pwd, that's a neat attention.
I wouldn't use this stuff for strict security just yet... too unreliable (you may have to combine it with something else).

Face (or voice) recognition for simple stuff i wouldn't mind, like for my shared computer/tablet at home - adjusting the the preferences based on the family member using the machine.... if a mistake is made, it's not big deal.

Getting the public to adapt to and accept this technology is going to be the challenge. I'm sure when people see this, the first thing they think of is "privacy".


P.
 
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