Motorola recently confirmed that they've acquired Ukranian facial and gesture recognition developer Viewdle for an undisclosed amount (though rumor has it that the deal went down for between $30 and $45 million, and that Google and Motorola have been considering snatching Viewdle for the last couple of years). None of Viewdle's apps, including their augmented reality game or their social camera app, are showing up in Google Play or on any of their product pages. A Motorola rep issued a statement on the acquisition:
"Motorola Mobility today announced that it has acquired Viewdle, a leading imaging & gesture recognition company. Motorola and Viewdle have an existing commercial agreement and have been collaborating for some time. Terms of the transaction were not disclosed.”
So far, the only real facial recognition technology we're seeing in Android is for unlocking the device, but Viewdle has clearly explored the space in a number of directions that Google and Motorola could take. Tagging photos from the camera, touchless gesture recognition, and augmented reality are just some of the areas Viewdle has been working in. Best of all, some of their technology can work locally on the device, so you don't even have to rely on a data connection to get these things working. We saw the technology in action last year, and it seemed to be working pretty smoothly.
So, how would you guys like to see Motorola and Google implement these features in Android? Are they simply additions to the native camera app, or should they be folded into something like Google Goggles? There was a lot of concern over privacy awhile back when Google first started about facial recognition; are you worried about Google and advertisers knowing what you look like?