Google buys facial recognition business

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Google buys facial recognition business
Image credit: PittPatt

Product already at core of YouTube, Picasa.

Google has acquired a three-person facial recognition start-up, PittPatt, as it continues its social rush against Facebook.

PittPatt, which derived its name from Pittsburgh Pattern Recognition, was launched in 2004. Its roots could be traced to Carnegie Mellon University’s Robotics Institute in the 1990s.

Announcing the acquisition, PittPatt said its “computer vision technology” was already at the core of Google Image Search, YouTube, PIcasa and Goggles. 

We will continue to tap the potential of computer vision in applications that range from simple photo organisation to complex video and mobile applications," the company said in a statement.

PittPatt’s chief executive officer Henry Schneiderman had some success the field of autonomous cars, a pet project of Google founders Larry Page and Sergey Brin.  

Schneiderman previously worked for the National Institute of Standards and Technology where he developed a “machine vision system” for fully autonomous vehicles, according to his profile.

The acquisition of PittPatt followed Google+’s first buyout of social network management platform, Fridge, which “closed up shop” on July 19 because it was “moving to Google” to work on Google+.

Fridge was designed to make coordinating information-sharing amongst separate groups easier, featuring group texting, customised profiles, events, polls, and group data archiving.  

Different groups were built around a set of email addresses, Facebook friends and Twitter followers, according to a Business Insider profile

Fridge had built up over 20,000 groups within a year of gaining its first round of funding in 2010. 

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