Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Facial Recognition

For those that don’t know, all Apple computers—Macintoshes—released in the past four or five years have come with the full version of iLife pre-installed. Building on the near-ubiquitous iTunes, the iLife suite includes iWeb (which I used to use for the Drakelings site), iPhoto (to catalog and edit digital camera input), iMovie (like iPhoto, but for movies), iDVD (for exporting it all to DVD), and the somewhat curiously named GarageBand (for musical instruction and creation).

While this suite has always been awesome, the feature of iPhoto ’09 that really compelled me to upgrade is “Faces,” its facial recognition engine. Faces does its best to recognize where the faces are in each photo, then checks each one against its database of faces you’ve already labeled (as at right). When it finds a face that seems to match, it places a temporary label on the face, e.g. “Is this Leah Drake?” and options to confirm or deny the identification.

Anyway, I’ve been going back through our various libraries (which I’ve broken up by calendar quarter; having them all in one library would be crazy slow over a wireless connection) and labeling the faces. Eventually, I came to last year’s Christmas Eve trip to the mall, where the kids got their picture taken with Santa. I don’t know if it’s just me, but this struck me as particularly humorous:

Hopefully you’re laughing with me and not at me. ;-)

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