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Polar Rose Aims To Improve Image Search

Startup Aims to Improve Image Search

The quest for the perfect image search has thus far eluded the likes of Google, Yahoo,, and MSN. As it focus on the lucrative business of helping users find specific information, firms like Sweden-based startup Polar Rose are free to focus solely on image search technology.

Unlike Google et al, Polar Rose uses 3D mapping techniques to recognize facial patterns. The others search for text tags associated with photos--so a search for Britney Spears, for example, could return a photo of someone posing like Britney Spears. Polar Rose's technology, however, is cumulative; it requires user participation to get better.

Polar Rose is offering free software that searches users computers for photos and allows them to tag every single face in their catalog. The program not only groups user photos by face on a personal computer but the program's mapping technology also remembers these unique "faceprints" and is able to search the wider Web for similar images.

The technology does this by converting 2D images into 3D models, creating such "faceprints." Polar Rose comes in a free download or as a Web browser plug-in, which could be particularly useful for the myriad users with photos on sites like Flickr, MySpace and Ofoto.

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