Australian company Depth Analysis has developed a technology called MotionScan, which recreates a person's face into a high-resolution 3D image. This is not just capturing facial animation we're talking about here: the entire head is recorded.
MotionScan isn't just technology being used in some prototype or for research purposes. You'll see it put to use in L.A. Noire, an upcoming video game developed by Team Bondi and published by Rockstar Games. Unfortunately, it's only going to be available for the PlayStation 3 and the Xbox 360 (you can watch the trailer on YouTube). The game is set in a recreated Los Angeles of 1947, where players are asked to solve a series of murder mysteries. That's where the facial recognition comes in; the embedded video below explains it best:
Well, this certainly raises the facial recognition bar. In related news, Facebook this week announced a new feature called tag suggestions, which uses facial recognition technology to suggest which friend is probably featured in a certain photo. "When you or a friend upload new photos, we use face recognition software — similar to that found in many photo editing tools — to match your new photos to other photos you're tagged in," a Facebook spokesperson said in a statement. "We group similar photos together and, whenever possible, suggest the name of the friend in the photos."
In other words, the square that magically finds faces in a photo will now suggest names of your Facebook friends to streamline the tagging process, especially with the same friends in multiple uploaded photos. The feature will be rolling out across the US in the following weeks. While we think it's quite impressive that the technology is ready for mass consumption, until Facebook can do this for videos, we'll still be much more impressed with what L.A. Noire is bringing to the table.