A fresh face in people search, care of Sweden

Polar Rose

This isn’t new news, per se, but it’s still interesting to see that Riya 1.0 has some new competition (how’d’ya like that? Retroactive competition… heh!).

If you’ve been playing along, you’d know that Riya has moved towards general image search and away from exclusively focusing on cute-baby-face-image-indexing (I kid, I kid!). In fact, Munjal says it best:

As we announced in May we are heading in a different direction because users just didn’t want face recognition in their own photos as much as they wanted smarter web search. Starting next week and continuing for the next month or so we’ll post the gradual release of our new product that reluanches our efforts.

Contrary to Polar Rose founder Jan Erik Solem’s bombastic claim that their search engine … will be the first of its kind in the world, I am more optimistic about their approach of using a simple browser plugin to enable folks to casually point out faces in the images that they come across, effectively decentralizing the task and providing a much needed instant-incentive for folks who are specifically interested in this kind of information. I still wonder whether such efforts can ever really boil the web-wide ocean, but with similar efforts underway at Google, sooner or later, we are going to get to a better way to discover, explore and search rich media based on their content, not just where they were taken or when.

In the meantime, screenshots of the Polar Rose plugin are available for download.

Via Digg via Alex Hillman.