Photofunia is a ridiculously simple photo effects app that lets you drop your photos into funny and interesting scenes, similar to those you might find at an amusement park photo booth. If, say, you want to see what your face might look like on a billboard in Times Square, Photofunia has an effect for that. How about on the cover of Esquire Magazine? Photofunia's got that covered, too. With an incredible number of effects available, the possibilities seem endless.
To get started with Photofunia, just fire up the app and start looking for an effect you like. You can … Read more
Last week's Picasa software update from Google brought with it a neat trick--facial recognition. But it wasn't the first free consumer photo-editing software to find faces. In January, Apple unveiled the latest version of iLife, which included an updated version of iPhoto that could detect and recognize faces in your photos. And this time last year, Microsoft released an updated version of its Windows Live Photo Gallery desktop software that could find faces inside of photos, though it couldn't (and still can't) recognize who's in them.
So, how do these three stack up? To figure that out, we put them to the test. Using 500 sample photos on fresh installs of each program, we tracked around how long each of the tools took to process all the photos, as well as some notable hits and misses from each.
To be fair, our results may not scale, or match the experience you will have. For one, we're using a test bed of photos that's almost entirely 12-megapixel JPEG files, whereas some people may be shooting smaller or larger files that may be in different formats and contain large groups of people--something that can slow these programs down. You're also likely to have a whole lot more than 500 photos sitting around on your computer; we certainly do.
Note: Adobe's PhotoShop Elements software (for Windows | Mac), which also includes a facial recognition feature was not included in this roundup since it's a paid application. Technically iPhoto is as well, but we included it since it comes free on all Macs.The apps and workflows
iPhoto is the only product of the bunch that's Mac-only. It comes bundled with all new Macs, but the latest version (which includes face detection) must be purchased as a software upgrade if you've got iPhoto '08 or lower. We've included it in this roundup as a free product since it comes bundled with all new Macs.
Face scanning in iPhoto happens automatically, but it's largely a manual process, requiring users to "train" the system to recognize certain faces. The program took around nine minutes to scan through our 500 test photos and when it was done it didn't offer up any suggestions of photos with faces in them.
Instead, users are required to click on a photo with a face in it and hope the program picked it up. If it has, users can simply type the name in--which will auto complete if the person is in your Mac address book. If someone's face was not found, but you can see it in the photo, you can manually contain the face inside of a box, then tag it with their name.
After you add names to just few photos, iPhoto's system begins to piece together others that look the same--although it doesn't learn as fast as it does for photos where it already found the faces. In my testing, it only took two photos to get it to offer up some more suggestions. If those suggestions are correct, continuing to add them was just a matter of a few clicks.
iPhoto's system for doing this isn't perfect though.… Read more
The next time you stop to watch a big-screen advertisement, remember: it may be watching you back.
TruMedia provides retailers with a combination of iCapture video-capture hardware and Proactive Merchandising (PROM) software to build custom age-targeted advertising content to passers-by. How? Face detection. The software analyzes the video stream and--as we're increasingly seeing with consumer cameras and camcorders--can distinguish faces in a crowd.
It's been able to differentiate between adults and kids for a while, but the new development is the ability to identify seniors as well. As they're a distinct and significant marketing demographic, that's … Read more
We thought we'd seen it all with face, smile, and even blink detection. But Fujifilm surprised us once more (after face detection 2.0) with the "Couple Timer" in its new FinePix Z200fd.
Apparently, this feature is used in conjunction with face detection to gauge how close the two faces are in the frame. Depending on how intimate you are to the other subject, you can change the setting on the point-and-shoot from one heart to three. When the camera sees that the subjects are close enough, it will snap a shot automatically.
Also a new feature … Read more
LAS VEGAS--Tessera Technologies has agreed to acquire FotoNation, a start-up that sells software cameras can use for tasks such as detecting and tracking faces, fixing flash-induced red-eye, and triggering the shutter only when subjects are smiling and not blinking.
Tessera, a San Jose, Calif.-based electronics miniaturization company, will pay $29 million in net cash and another $10 million if specific milestones within the next year are met.
The companies announced the deal Thursday during the Photo Marketing Association trade show here.
FotoNation, based in Burlingame, Calif., has 80 employees. Its software is used in more than two-thirds of digital … Read more
MONTEREY, Calif.--Get ready for a new era in which your camera knows not just when you took a picture but who's in it, too.
Many cameras today can detect the faces of those being photographed, which is handy for guiding the camera to set its exposure, focus, and color balance properly. But the more difficult challenge of face recognition is more useful after the photo has been taken.
That's because of a concept called autotagging, one of a number of technologies that make digital photography qualitatively different from the film photography of the past.
Tags of descriptive … Read more
Summer is in full swing and the season is heating up with new camera announcements. Fuji steps to the plate with five new models that follow the trend toward more megapixels and slowly growing zoom ranges, while adding to the company's set of signature features. As with the company's PMA introductions, all the new cameras will be able to store images to both xD Picture Cards and SD cards, as well as SDHC cards.
With the Finepix F50fd, Fuji is introducing a new version of the company's face-detection technology, which Fuji calls Face Detection 2.0. While … Read more
update 5/8/07: Here's a lesson for all of us: Don't try to blog at 1am after doing a 7-hour shift of cat adoptions.
Okay, maybe that's just a lesson for me.
It turns out I made a couple of mistakes in this blog entry. At least my errors were pointed out by polite readers, not the ones who feel compelled to verbally abuse you for the occasional slipup. You know who you are.
In any case, I've updated the text to reflect islandgirl45CV's comments, as well as an email from a reader about … Read more