Face detection in orkut photo albums– photo tagging just got easier

Wednesday, July 15, 2009 | 4:06 PM

Photo albums are one of the most popular features on orkut and a personal favorite of mine. For me, tagging photos have been an especially good way of keeping a record of all the fun times that I've shared with friends. Yet as much as I love having my photo albums labeled, big albums (especially those with lots of group shots), can take a long time to tag.

To speed up the tagging process, we're launching a face detection feature on all new photos uploaded to orkut. With it, orkut is now able to automatically detect when faces appear in photos (by recognizing features like eyes, noses, mouths, etc.), but without actually identifying specific individuals. The algorithm is not perfect, however, so things like eyeglasses, difficult lighting, poses, etc. may 'fool' our system from time to time. If that ever happens, rest assured that you can always tag photos as you normally would, and of course change or remove any tags that you're unhappy with.

We've made the tagging process even easier by adding an auto-fill feature that suggests names from your friends list for the people that you tag. Just start typing in your friend's name, and auto-fill will take care of the rest.

Of course, all of the privacy features that you currently have with photos on orkut will remain in place and only your friends will be able to tag you in their photos. You'll also have the additional option of removing all tags if you would prefer not to be tagged in this manner or not to take advantage of orkut's face detection. We'll be rolling face detection out to everyone over the next few days, so if you're ready to see how it works, just try uploading a new photo to orkut.

Posted by Anand Pillai, Software Engineer.

UPDATE: We love to hear your feedback, so if you'd like to send us a quick note about face detection, just visit the orkut help forum.