(Reuters) – Imagine taking a snapshot of a group of friends and having your smartphone instantly reveal the identity of everyone in the photo.
A new iPhone app called KLiK performs real-time facial recognition to automatically identify and tag friends in photos.
"It’s our most recent evolution of both the platform and the consumer product that we’re offering," said Gil Hirsch, the CEO of the facial recognition technology platform Face.com, which launched the app.
"We noticed that at parties or events there were many photos being taken but only a few were actually getting tagged."
By connecting with Facebook, the app scans friends’ photos to develop a facial profile of everyone in a user’s network. The app identifies people by matching faces in photos taken with, or uploaded to, the app to these profiles.
Because the app relies on the connection to Facebook, only friends in a user’s network can be identified.
"It’s not like you can point this at someone on the street and make it work," said Hirsch.
But the app does include a learn mode to use for friends who are not on Facebook. It allows users to teach the app who someone is by pointing the camera at them and manually entering their name.
"It’s all private and on your device only," explained Hirsch, adding that the person will then be tagged automatically.
"I use it to tag my children so that I can later search for all the photos I took of them."
Users can also apply Instagram-style filters and share photos via Facebook, Twitter or email.