Apple invention automatically shares photos based on facial recognition data

Posted:
in General Discussion edited August 2015
In an invention published by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office on Thursday, Apple outlines a process of identifying individuals in a digital image using facial recognition techniques and sending a copy of the photo out to those people by associating contact information pulled from an app like Contacts.


Source: USPTO


Titled "Systems and methods for sending digital images," Apple's first patent application describes a system that helps streamline the process of sharing photos with groups of people. Specifically, a service applies facial recognition algorithms to a digital image and presents options to share it with recognized individuals via email, SMS or other form of communication.

For example, the system is able to recognize faces in a group photo and automatically propagate a list of potential recipients based on that information. Contact information like email addresses or phone numbers are pulled from an app like Contacts and assigned to the identified faces. Alternatively, users can associate address information to identified faces manually.

In some embodiments, recognized faces are enclosed in a box or otherwise highlighted and presented alongside icons indicating possible forms of communication. Users can interact with the UI to select who in the photo will receive a digital copy and how that copy is sent. In some cases, a person may be assigned a default mode of communication, such as SMS or email.

In another example, users can automatically receive photos in which they are identified on an opt-in basis. This scenario entails uploading a picture to a cloud service for facial recognition and automatically sending out shared photo alerts to identified individuals. The picture's owner may apply restrictions to the sharing process, limiting access on a per-user basis or sending out share invites to other users not present in the photo.




The application also covers facial recognition algorithms and concepts for learning new faces, a feature that can be used to retroactively tag individuals in photos. A live facial recognition database can be built out and synchronized with a mobile device, like an iPhone, which can apply that information to newly captured photos for immediate sharing.

The document goes on to detail facial recognition technology, exemplary systems and alternative embodiments, including options to connect with social networks.

Apple already uses facial recognition technology in Photos for Mac, which intelligently identifies individuals and sorts them into appropriate Faces albums. The next step would be linking Contacts information with those faces for quick and easy sharing.

Apple's photo sharing based on facial recognition patent application was filed for in February 2013 and credits Richard H. Salvador and Steve G. Salvador as its inventors.

Comments

  • Reply 1 of 12
    "Apple's photo sharing based on facial recognition patent application was filed for in February 2013 and credits Richard H. Salvador and Steve G. Salvador as its inventors."

    What are the chances the inventors are twins and they created the software because 'friends and followers' couldn't easily tell them apart on social media?
  • Reply 2 of 12
    radarthekatradarthekat Posts: 3,132moderator
    Is it really? Is that what it is, the ability to recognize when someone has just returned from the day spa? Oh, look, she just had a facial. (No off-color jokes please). It's FACE recognition. Trust me, it's about machine recognition of faces, not facials. Lol
  • Reply 3 of 12

    Has Apple improved its detections software that much?  The first iterations were horrible.  I have not bothered recently.  This is where an acquisition may come in handy to offload the process to servers to do it right.  I could see a lot of good uses for this type of thing assuming the underlying software actually works.

  • Reply 4 of 12
    croprcropr Posts: 961member
    It is sad that these "inventions" encumber the patent system. There is nothing ingenious about combining 2 existing technologies: sending an email en recognizing a face in a photo.
    An to be clear, this is not a crusade against Apple, who has invented brilliant things, but to the patent system which is totally broken.
  • Reply 5 of 12
    cropr wrote: »
    It is sad that these "inventions" encumber the patent system. There is nothing ingenious about combining 2 existing technologies: sending an email en recognizing a face in a photo.
    An to be clear, this is not a crusade against Apple, who has invented brilliant things, but to the patent system which is totally broken.

    Combining ideas to create something new is the history of invention itself. You picked the wrong fight.
  • Reply 6 of 12
    am8449am8449 Posts: 343member
    This is something I would use.

    I often use Photo Stream Sharing to share photos with friends. I can imagine this technology used to allow me to do that even quicker.
  • Reply 7 of 12

    A patent is not an invention, especially if the idea that was granted a patent isnt even used or implemented.

  • Reply 8 of 12
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by cropr View Post



    It is sad that these "inventions" encumber the patent system. There is nothing ingenious about combining 2 existing technologies: sending an email en recognizing a face in a photo.

    An to be clear, this is not a crusade against Apple, who has invented brilliant things, but to the patent system which is totally broken.

    Both I and The Economist agree:

     

    http://www.economist.com/news/leaders/21660522-ideas-fuel-economy-todays-patent-systems-are-rotten-way-rewarding-them-time-fix

  • Reply 9 of 12
    SpamSandwichSpamSandwich Posts: 31,398member
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by joshuarayer View Post

     

    A patent is not an invention, especially if the idea that was granted a patent isnt even used or implemented.




    True. An invention is an invention. And a patent is an expression of an idea.

  • Reply 10 of 12
    nairbnairb Posts: 253member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by RadarTheKat View Post



    Is it really? Is that what it is, the ability to recognize when someone has just returned from the day spa? Oh, look, she just had a facial. (No off-color jokes please). It's FACE recognition. Trust me, it's about machine recognition of faces, not facials. Lol

     

    Fascial is also an adjective. Facial Recognition Systems recognise faces by comparing facial features in an file to facial features data stored in a database. Facial Recognition is a perfectly suitable term.

  • Reply 11 of 12
    sphericspheric Posts: 1,786member
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by RadarTheKat View Post



    Is it really? Is that what it is, the ability to recognize when someone has just returned from the day spa? Oh, look, she just had a facial. (No off-color jokes please). It's FACE recognition. Trust me, it's about machine recognition of faces, not facials. Lol

    facial |?f?SH?ladjectiveof or affecting the face: facial expressions.

  • Reply 12 of 12
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Fotoformat View Post



    "Apple's photo sharing based on facial recognition patent application was filed for in February 2013 and credits Richard H. Salvador and Steve G. Salvador as its inventors."



    What are the chances the inventors are twins and they created the software because 'friends and followers' couldn't easily tell them apart on social media?

    Haha, the Salvadors. I doubt if they can distinguish the twins in the same picture.  But I will be excited to use it, and show off to me friends. ;)

Sign In or Register to comment.