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Web Site Allows Searching for Friends in Photos

Photo taken by Simon Cataudo. (scataudo) There are no usage restrictions for this photo

Polar Rose is a new search engine now being tested that will allow you to find anyone in any photo on any site. Type in the name of a person you know, and find pictures of that person all over the web, on sites like MySpace or blog pages using face-recognition technology.

The Polar Rose search engine works by providing users with a special web browser plug-in that anyone can use with a web page that contains a picture. The process begins with the Polar Rose software identifying the parts of the picture that are actually images of people. For example, in a backyard barbeque snapshot, you might find a variety of elements in the picture, like grills, decks, chairs, and different people standing around. The software picks out the faces and puts a small "rose" icon next to each one (see example picture here).

Be sure to read about these unusual face-recognition technology applications:

Read and comment on the privacy issues related to Polar Rose software here; visit the Polar Rose website.

(This Science Fiction in the News story used with permission from