Google recently purchased a company that has the brainpower and innovation to bring even more facial recognition technology to Google’s line of products. The company is PittPatt, a Pittsburgh-based firm run by three PhD’s that specialize in object recognition software, known mostly as “tagging.”

According to PittPatt’s official website, its software solutions are already being used in some of Google’s products, such as Goggles, YouTube and Picasa. However, it’s safe to say that Google has some big plans for PittPatt and its “computer vision technology” becoming an integral part of its photo, video and social applications.

Despite PittPatt’s software already being used in several Google apps, Google has said that it refrained from releasing Goggles with facial recognition, despite building it into the initial app. Chairman Eric Schmidt explained that it was the only technology that Google has ever built but “decided to stop” after looking at it.

The addition of face-recognizing capabilities to Google’s Apps could raise alarms with some privacy advocates since it could allow people to be recognized or tagged in photos without their knowing. But I suspect Google will be careful with the technology — the company has recently gone to great lengths to avoid negative press around privacy issues.


William Shaub is a performance major at Juilliard who balances a life in music with heavy doses of writing and tennis. He loves tech journalism, and spends an enormous amount of time on a smartphone. You...