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Social Crutch Cam

Phone remembers faces when you can't.
  [vote for,

Some newer cell phones include a digital camera so you can take pictures and store them on the phone or on-line with your service provider.

Take that capability and combine it with a java applet that picks out facial features and looks them up in a database of people you've met before. The database associates faces with names.

So the next time you can't remember someone's name at a party (and worse yet they've already called out *your* name to come over and talk to you), just hold the phone/camera up like you're reading a text message- when you're actually looking them up in your database. The phone then displays the name of the person if it finds a match in the database.

Of course you would need a few training images for each person it needs to recognize, so take it a step further: The database is trained and maintained by the service provider, combining photo records from the local DMV and other sources.

Actually, that's stirring up ideas for more sinister applications now that I think of it.

banksean, Jan 09 2003

Semi-baked http://wearcam.org/vmp/node11.html
Wearable face-recognizer featuring a camera and software [shavenwarthog, Oct 04 2004, last modified Oct 05 2004]

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       Simply putting people's snapshots in your rolodex should be enough to trigger your faulty memory. (Works for me.)
DrCurry, Jan 09 2003

       This is something I desperately need, but wouldn't use even if it existed. It's a good idea, though.
snarfyguy, Jan 09 2003

       Yeah, very scary. Especially the DMV public database angle. Would you register YOUR facial-biometric data in a public database? Still, creating a private database doesn't seem so bad, so croissant. But good luck implementing this. My understanding is that it is hard enough recognizing a face when the picture is taken in a predetermined position against a given background. And Government types using cutting edge tech at airports etc. have a lot more time to get a good shot. One other problem - people would soon know what it means when somebody flips open the cell phone as you approach him. Any ideas for making this a little more subtle?
EvilHomer, Jan 09 2003

       Nice idea, assuming your handphone has more computing power than the NSA.   

       I have a similar problem; I can't even remember my extended relatives' names. But my wife remembers everyone and bails me out without fail. She even had her name and our anniversary engraved in my wedding ring.
FloridaManatee, Jan 09 2003

       My phone already offers the option to store someone's photo along with their name and contact info. in the phone's address book. So it's sort of already-baked. I have to flip through the address book and see what name goes with the face I just saw (I have already sneakily used this out at a party while pretending to be texting a message I was really looking up the name of a person i had just run into)
submitinkmonkey, Mar 09 2005

       //Nice idea, assuming your handphone has more computing power than the NSA.//
Don't do it on the phone, then. Send the picture up to a server, and have the server send back the result. I saw an article a while back about an IBM research project that used this type of client-server architecture to translate the text on signs while travelling. (Something that would have been quite handy to have when I was in China last week).
krelnik, Mar 09 2005


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