Riya, a free image-sharing and -searching web site specializing in facial recognition, has released a Mac-compatible version of its image-upload utility.
According to Riya CEO Munjal Shah, the site is intended to make tagging of personal photos easier by using facial-recognition technology to identify the people who appear in your photos. After a training process, Riya automatically scans and recognizes faces in the images you upload to the service.
Shah said the delay in releasing a Mac version of the Riya Uploader available was largely due to poor performance on PowerPC-based Macs. The just-released uploader will run on both PowerPC-based and Intel-based Macs, but Shah said it runs much better on Macs running Intel-based processors.
The Riya Uploader requires processor power because it doesn’t just upload images, but scans them in advance in or to identify any faces. The location of the faces is then relayed to Riya’s server, which then uses facial-recognition technology to identify those faces.
Riya has also announced that the company’s Web site will be updated to become a “web-wide public visual search engine that uses face and image similarity to search the Web.” That new version of the site will allow users to search the Web for images that have similarities to images they specify.
In addition, the company provides an application programming interface (API) that lets software developers take advantage of Riya’s face-recognition technology. Shah told Macworld that he hoped an enterprising developer would, for example, use the API to write add-ons for programs such as iPhoto to upload images to Riya and use the results to automatically add keywords to photos, eliminating the need to manually apply keywords to those images.