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New app helps avoid party gaffes

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Remember that cringe worthy part in The Devils Wear Prada where Emily Blunt struggles to remember the name of a guest at her boss Miranda Priestly's Vogue party?

Or in fact, any of those panic-stricken moments when you've been floundering to put a name to a face...

Such gaffes and embarrassments may soon become a thing of the past with a new iPhone app that promises to identify a person's name simply by taking a photo of them - as long as you are already connected on Facebook.

There are a number of mobile apps starting to use this technology, including Klik, rolled out by an Israeli start-up company at the beginning of this month.

Utilising technology created by internet facial recognition service Face.com, it automatically identifies a face when it appears in real time view of an iPhone's camera.

For privacy reasons, the app is limited to people you are already friends with on Facebook at the moment. But given most people have an average of 300 friends - many of which include old high school acquaintances - this could still include some unknowns, whom you would struggle to recognise in real life.

The Klik app claims to have 90% accuracy and Face.com calls it "magical," although it has admitted suffering to "a few bugs" in field tests.

"Face recognition has always had a lot of promise but was never quite there — we want to change that, and make it a reality," said Gil Hirsch, Face.com's founder. He claims the photo app is so accurate, it could even recognise someone's mood from a photo.

According to CNN, facial recognition technology is still some way off being able to identify a complete stranger instantly; to match two photos of unconnected people in the US would still take around four hours even with the most sophisticated equipment, say experts in the area.

In the meantime, Klik and other similar apps will certainly jazz up chance encounters with friends from the past - if nothing else.

Picture credit: Rex Features

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