It seems that according to a report by Swedish mac site Mac1, Apple may have acquired all the shares of facial recognition company Polar Rose. Presumably this technology would augment the facial recognition features already found in iPhoto and perhaps expand that tech to the iPhone and iPod touch as well as a future iPad model that would have a camera.
The company offers several facial detection and recognition products, two of them seem to be very interesting for Apple.
Face Cloud is a scalable server-side solution to add facial recognition to nearly all types of Web services. This may apply to MobileMe, allowing you to sort your images by the people in the pictures.
FaceLib is the same face recognition technology for use on a mobile platform. FaceLib can either work together with Face Cloud to sort images or it can perform facial recognition directly on a mobile device such as an iPhone. The FaceLib product has already been developed for the iPhone and Android platforms, although one assumes that the Android development is now kaput.
Polar Rose have updated their site with this message:
Our free face tagging service is now closed. We are now focusing solely on licensing our technology. Hopefully you’ll see our tech in one of our licensees’ products in the future!
Here’s a demo of the Polar Rose technology in action: