Google’s Motorola Mobility has finally acquired facial recognition technology company, Viewdle, as confirmed by a CNET’s Dara Kerr. As per a description on the Viewdle site, “Viewdle sits between the camera and the consumer—introducing new user experiences in mobile interaction, augmented reality, photo management, gaming, social networking, and marketing. We enable people to see the world through computer vision with face, object, and gesture recognition technology products that realize the full potential of the many advanced consumer devices that are now on the market—smartphones, tablets, and other camera-enabled devices.” Viewdle’s technology also applies to automatic photo tagging, a feature that Google would make good use of in Google+, Picasa, and other similar services.
Google confirms acquisition of Viewdle
Google’s competitor in the social networking space, Facebook, was in the news recently for its acquisition of Israel-based facial recognition company, Face.com. Sources familiar with the matter around the web say that Facebook bought the start-up for around $55 to $60 million, and the acquisition was a mix of both cash and stock. There was talk about this acquisition back in May, when rumours about a $100 million deal emerged.
Face.com was launched in 2007, and already has two services up on Facebook. One is called Photo Tagger, which allows users to scan their or their friends' photos for known faces. The app scans photos and batches people for suggested tags that one can then approve. The company also has a service called Photo Finder, which works like Photo Tagger. The application scans Facebook photos in your networks, and finds pictures of you that you never knew were there. Face.com also has public APIs that third party developers can use to add features in their apps. Even after this acquisition, Face.com says it will continue to support the APIs.
Reports further confirm that Google aimed to close the deal with the Ukrainian company Viewdle, and that this acquisition had been long coming. Motorola Mobility is known to have been in talks with the company even as Google acquired Motorola Mobility last year. In its statement to CNET, Motorola Mobility added, “Motorola Mobility today announced that it has acquired Viewdle, a leading imaging & gesture recognition company. Motorola and Viewdle have an existing commercial agreement and have been collaborating for some time. Terms of the transaction were not disclosed.”
However, there is no clarity about the specifics of the deal yet; only that “some estimates say it is toward the high end of a $30 million to $45 million range.”