AH 2015 Google Photos LOGO-85

Google Photos Brings Facial Recognition to Canada

October 30, 2015 - Written By Cory McNutt

Google is taking their Google Photos very seriously – and why not, interest in social media photos are at an all-time high – and Google is constantly upgrading the program as well as prepping us on new features we will see in the upcoming months.  Google Photos now offers Chromecast support and adding labels to faces that you recognize.  The newest release is Photos v1.8, it expands not only its features, but also made their new “face group” feature in Google Photos available in several new countries…and Canada was included in the listing.

Google posted an official changelog for Photos v1.8, and it includes the following in its update – “Now in more countries: Finding the perfect photo of your best friend or family member just got easier. See similar faces grouped together in Search, and privately label faces to quickly search for the person you’re looking for.  Tap the search button to get started.  Face grouping will be available in Latin America, Canada, the Caribbean, Australia, and New Zealand.  It will also be available in parts of Asia, the Middle East, and Africa.”  The second point is that you can, “hide a person from appearing under People.  This also prevents events with that person from appearing in “Rediscover this day” cards in the Assistant.”  Now, “when viewing search results, pinch to zoom in and out” and finally, “spooky fast performance improvements and bug fixes.”

All of this talk about a smartphone or tablet being able to ‘recognize’ and even group those photos together sounds a little like something from a sci-fi movie.  However, Google claims they are just matching traits of people uploaded to its servers to make it easier to tag them in photos, but it still seems as though another bit of our privacy is being chipped away.  Google does give us the ability to hide faces you do not want added to the ‘list,’  and people that just happen to be in a large crowd can also be excluded .

Facial recognition is being a part of our mobile experience – even the cameras on our smartphones can tell if you are smiling and if your eyes are shut.  That facial recognition is getting refine all of the time and our fascination of taking photos and posting them online will only help to fuel that development.