Faces are not as unique and youthful as fingerprints, but they are easy to capture and search for. Facial recognition, combined with data from surveillance cameras or online profiles, is a powerful tool in finding people and tracking their every move. On the entertaining end of the spectrum, face searches can reveal your online look (a celebrity) or your age.
Here are five facial recognition search engines that can give you a thrill. Let’s see what they have to say about you or your friends.
Did you know that you can search on Google with images? Instead of keywords, you can use images to search for similar images.
Click the camera icon to search by image. You can paste an image URL or upload an image and Google will find similar images.
Plus, you can make Google search for faces just by adding a little code.
When you go to Google Image Search, enter your request, press Enter, and then add “&imgtype=face” (without the quotes of course), either to the end of the search URL or just before any other string starting with &. This will further improve your search results related to faces.
Below is a before and after example that you can try yourself:
Google also offers facial recognition in Google Photos.
PicTriev went a step further by actually looking for similar faces. Unfortunately, this feature is limited to look-alike celebrities.
What you do is add a URL or upload a photo in JPG or JPEG format, no larger than 200 KB in size, and the search engine will return any matching celebrity images found online.
For demonstration purposes, I used my own headshot. While PicTriev correctly identified me as very much a woman, match number one was Jason Clarke. However, the 30 year old estimate is very good.
This works much better if you are looking for celebrity pictures.
PicTriev also lets you compare what two faces have in common or predict whether a photo of two faces is the same person. Click meter icon at the top right, upload two photos, choose similarity or identity, and let PicTriev do the math.
Before you add a photo, be sure to follow the formatting instructions for best results.
TinEye’s reverse image search works almost like Google does. You can upload an image or paste a URL and search for it. TinEye doesn’t support search operators anymore, making it simpler and more basic.
In my testing, TinEye found three results, one of which Google was not included because the site died years ago. Also, he missed the more recent results his brother took. To me, this shows that TinEye’s search index is largely deprecated.
Unlike Google, TinEye links directly to the page where it finds images and skips similar images.
Similar to Google’s reverse face search, PimEyes uses image and facial recognition to search for similar faces on more than 10 million websites. Demos that use the faces of celebrities like Angelina Jolie or Zac Efron look promising.
For example, you can search for Jennifer Aniston’s face using four different photos at once. PimEyes will find the original photo, as well as other photos of Aniston.
Surprisingly, while the app did not find the original image used for the search, the similarity was only rated at around 70%. Shouldn’t it be close to 100%? Or does the algorithm take into account image resolution, size, brightness, and other digital alternations?
There are other photos of me to be found online, but PimEyes doesn’t see them. The best he could find was another person’s face with a 62% resemblance. Apparently, my image didn’t appear on any of the 10 million sites PimEyes analyzed.
Note that PimEyes offers a 24-hour deal that unlocks access to its premium search results. But given my questionable results, I would not recommend paying for this service.
Betaface offers facial recognition searches similar to PicTriev photo identification. you can upload image or send image URL and the face search engine will isolate and characterize all identifiable faces in the photo.
Next, you can compare faces (with other images you upload), search for celebrities, or search Wikipedia for any known faces. The results will appear in the Face recognition matches table.
This tool is useful for uploading and comparing photos in bulk. In addition to classifying faces based on 101 pro face points, you can also enable extended geometric and color measurements, as well as the “best face” feature. Both slow down processing, but will improve the quality of your comparisons.
This tool uses photos to guess the age of the subject. Microsoft built How-Old.net to showcase its machine learning APIs. Even more interesting is what Microsoft learned through this experiment. Apparently, wearing a hat can make you look younger, while glasses will make you look older, and losing your beard can also shave a few years off.
What Your Face Reveals
Face recognition and search tools have a variety of useful applications. They can not only help police identify suspects from security camera footage. They can also help professional photographers or media companies index visual material and build large, searchable archives. In addition, facial recognition can replace passwords and locks.
But there is a dark side to every tool. Recently, Facezam viral marketing scam highlights what facial recognition can do to your privacy. The makers of the app claim that in seconds you can find anyone’s Facebook profile by uploading a picture of their face. In essence, FindFace for Facebook.