Over at the official Google Blog come news that the company has acquired Neven Vision to help it improve Picasa, its image organizer offering.
Neven Vision comes to Google with deep technology and expertise around automatically extracting information from a photo. It could be as simple as detecting whether or not a photo contains a person, or, one day, as complex as recognizing people, places, and objects. This technology just may make it a lot easier for you to organize and find the photos you care about.
It could also be used to help Google understand the content of images and video so that it can sell relevant ads. But I’m sure if asked, they have “no plans” for that at this stage.
UPDATE: The Neven Vision site is no longer there, but the Google cache is! Snooping around, you can find some interesting things about their technology including:
iScout Movie Companion – User shoots an image from a movie advertisement and is linked to a movie portal offering showtimes, reviews, ticket sales, merchandise, promotions and more.
Neven Vision’s biometric technology powers solutions for highly efficient verification of ID in the field and at secure checkpoints using multiple biometric evaluation of the same image, including facial, skin, and iris recognition.
Neven Vision’s intelligent photo sorting application automatically tags and sorts photos, using award winning face and image recognition technology. Tag a person or image once and all your photos get automatically recognized and labeled. Future photos are tagged as you take them. Look for people and places with ease, and even find the best versions of your favorite photos.
iScout allows camera phone users to simply snap photos to initiate a search process and get relevant information or content sent to their phone…Traditional print media and packaging can become visually hyperlinked and provide a rich interactive experience for both consumers and marketers.
Oh yeah, tell me they’re not going to use this technology to monetize images and video, and I’ll tell you that I have no plans to eat Fish & Chips the next time I go back to England!