The latest update to Google Photos is starting to roll out to users, bringing the version up to 3.6. A run through the app hasn't turned up any brand new features, but there are some interesting things in the teardown. We can look forward to maximum cuteness as facial detection may be expanding to encompass our pets, even mixing them in with the faces of other people. There's also a new feature called Motion that promises to bring life to our images. And finally, there's a firm clue that Google Lens may actually turn out to be a temporary Pixel exclusive. Read More
While Microsoft is undoubtedly better known for its productivity suite, the remit of in-house development studio The Garage is is a little broader and more playful. Not unlike the "20% time" projects at Google, Microsoft Garage is responsible for experiments that may or may not end up becoming fully-fledged products. The latest to see a full release after a few years of testing is Face Swap, an app that will automatically swap your face into any scene. Read More
Android Pay may not have had a massive launch, or has been as aggressively rolled out as Samsung Pay, but it is steadily setting up shop in more countries around the globe. If you don't happen to find yourself in one of the dozen countries that have either already seen a launch or at least have an official promise of one coming soon, you might be interested to know that Google has at least set its sights on a few other countries. Text in the latest update of the Android Pay app hints at four previously unannounced markets. There are also obvious signs Google is merging the recently closed Hands Free experiment into Android Pay and expanding it significantly. Read More
When the Photos app launched in 2015, Google had already been working on computer vision for many years. It was no surprise that object recognition was a major draw for the app, and automatic sorting of pictures by person with the use of facial recognition became a must-have feature. Google is now looking to leverage this technology to make the Photos app a bit more social. A teardown of the latest Photos update reveals the service will soon offer additional features based around facial recognition, and even encourage users to share pictures with the people detected in them. Read More
Google Photos is really good at recognizing people in a photo and grouping their pics together. It's one feature I've come to rely on to find all the photos I have of specific friends or family members and even photos of "person X and person Y and person Z" together. But there were still a couple of small things missing from Photos' facial recognition like the option to manually tag a person in a pic or the ability to see who Google had recognized in a photo from the photo itself, not their dedicated page.
But the latter is now implemented. Actually, it was implemented at some point in the last few versions: I can confirm that it wasn't there in 126.96.36.199909749 but it is live in 188.8.131.52124741, so it was added to Photos sometime between March 13 and 30. Read More
It was only a matter of time before the first facial recognition project for Google Glass was started. That project was announced earlier this week by Lambda Labs, and the Google Glass team has now backed away from the technology on Google+. According to the post, Google won't approve any "Glassware" utilizing facial recognition due to privacy concerns. The key word here is approve.
Lambda Labs, a small start-up out of San Francisco, is set to drag us kicking and screaming into the dystopian sci-fi future we all knew was coming. Okay, that might be overstating the point, but the company has announced its intention to release a facial recognition API for Google Glass this week. Should this pan out, you'll always have to wonder if that fellow wearing Google Glass remembered your name, kid's age, and occupation because he has a good memory, or because the cloud told him.
The Lambda Labs facial recognition API has been in operation since last year, and is currently used by about 1,000 developers. Read More