Apple has apparently acquired facial recognition specialists Polar Rose, who until now had been using their technology to offer automatic tagging in apps and social networking services like Facebook and Picasa. The deal - which is rumored to be worth $22m - could see Apple integrate Polar Rose's advanced face detection system into their own iPhoto app, or alternatively use it for biometric security. However, Polar Rose are also behind the technology used in the Recognizr demo, an AR app for mobile devices that could identify people and overlay social networking links around them on the smartphone display.
Recognizr used Polar Rose's FaceLib engine for mobile devices, but the company also has a server-based processing system. That leaves Apple plenty of options as to how to implement their newly-acquired technology, whether across their desktop or mobile lines. Neither Polar Rose nor Apple are officially confirming the deal at present, though Polar Rose did cease offering their free services earlier this month.