Google acquires PittPatt

It seems that a company acquiring another company has become a pad in the Internet since earlier this month EA acquires Popcap.  Now Google bought PittPatt.

Pittpatt or Pittsburgh Pattern Recognition, the seven year old company, which develops the facial-recognition technology for images and video, however, Google did not disclose what they have plans for the newly-acquired company.

In a statement posted on PittPatt’s site, anyone could read that the computer vision technology is already at the core of many existing products” at Google.  It is natural to join Google since the company’s business is in line with Google.  It would bring the benefits of their research and technology to a wider audience.  They are going to continue to tap the potential of computer vision in applications, which ranges from simple photo organization to complex video and mobile applications.

According to Google spokesman, the acquisition of Pittpatt would benefit Google’s users since the company capable of developing innovative technology along the area of computer vision.  The spokesman did not elaborate what he meant.

With regards to face recognition, they are not going to add that feature to their apps unless they already have a privacy protection ready.

Google admitted that they already built a technology before that they have abandoned.  Google Goggles is a facial-recognition technology for smartphones.  They stop developing the technology since it could be use both for good and bad ways.

Back in the annual developer conference in May, Google featured something called “Virtual Camera Operator, it uses computer-vision technology to stabilize mobile video chats by following a person’s head movements, which allows the technology to determine, who the speaker is, during a multi-person video conference, so that the camera would automatically focus on the speaker.

Google also launches Google +, a social site that rivals Facebook.  Facebook has already integrated use of face-recognition technology on their site.  However, it did not get a positive response from users.

Facebook claims that the feature could be disabled by the user in their Privacy Settings.

PittPatt’s software precisely counts the number of all the people viewed by a video camera.  Also, it can generate reports by measuring the presence and movement of people over extended periods of time, as like in the cached version of its website.

Some practical applications for the technology include measurement of the effectiveness of digital signage, advertising, kiosks and narrow casting; customer traffic flow, or gathering insight into customer actions and shopping patterns; security-related matters such as the ability to send alerts when the PittPatt software detects a face that is not in its database.