Founded by a group of facial recognition Ph.D.s from Stanford University, Riya brings facial recognition technology, long used by the FBI and law enforcement, to the average Joe. Through “contextual recognition”, Riya will search through digital photo albums to find matches for people that you’ve identified.
According to co-founder Munjal Shah, contextual recognition is an amplified version of facial recognition. The software looks at a person’s face, but will also look at the shirt they are wearing and other cues to find a match. Additionally, it will search for text in the images, so if people want to find a photo where they posed by a “Welcome to Florida” sign, they can search on the word “Florida” and the Riya search engine will find it.
Roughly 70 percent accurate, Riya is a fascinating look into facial recognition. With time, user input (increasing data available to Riya), and further investments in contextual recognition will hopefully improve the accuracy of Riya. I have not personally tried the site, but am looking forward to uploading pictures and discovering Riya myself.