Google-owned Motorola Mobility has announced its acquisition of Ukranian face detection software company Viewdle, in a deal reportedly worth $US35-$US40 million.
Face detection looks set to be the next big battleground for mobile software. Following Apple's acquisition of Polar Rose back in 2010, and Facebook gobbling up Face.com, it makes sense that Google get in on the act.
Viewdle specialises in face detection software with an augmented reality flavour. Launched in 2007, the company was backed by large, high profile investors prior to the acquisition, including Qualcomm Ventures, Anthem Venture Partners, Best Buy Capital, and the Blackberry Partners Fund.
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RAZR sharp Viewdle
While initial speculation revolved around Google integrating Viewdle's technology into its social networking site Google+ and its augmented reality Project Glass, the fact it was Google-owned Motorola Mobility that did the buying indicates a much more obvious integration into Motorola handsets.
Having face detection and social network tagging built directly into a phone's camera app would be a huge advantage for a handset manufacturer.
While the potential to roll the technology across other Google products remains, it's unlikely we'll see that arrive in the short term.