Once the stuff of science fiction and high-tech action flicks, facial recognition is now accessible to mainstream America. The technology is opening up a new frontier for social media pioneers, allowing for demographic segmentation, custom digital advertising and augmented reality. With Facebook becoming the largest photo storing site, the possibilities are endless...
Face.com is the first to tap this keg, but the party is just getting started. Face.com is deploying their technology in some truly innovative ways. Currently, they are the largest facial recognition platform on the cloud. They offer services for detecting, recognizing, and tagging faces in any photo through integration with User IDs withiin Facebook and Twitter. Face.com's latest app, Klik, has brought this once Sci-Fi tech to the next step: the social + mobile world. Being a member of Verge Pipe Media, I was eager to give it a trial, albeit by fire.
The Verge Pipe Media Flyover:
Face.com’s Klik is a real-time mobile face recognition camera application. Yes, you heard me right. The app turns your iPhone into an intelligent camera that knows, and automatically tags, anyone in the frame, supposedly. The app design is sleek, with an admirable feature list. Also, Klik includes a few Instagram-like photo filters that make your photos look much cooler than they actually are. I know, it’s unbelievable. I read that heading and felt as if a childhood dream was coming true. However, after looking under the hood, we found that Klik is still working through some kinks.
Ease of installation: 5 out of 5.
The process was wonderfully simple. Just download it for your iPhone (for free!). Then connect your Facebook and/or Twitter so Klik can creep on your friends for some recognition magic and boom - done!
Ease of use: 4 out of 5.
From boot-up, Klik is engaging, beautiful and self explanatory. My excitement peaked when the loading messaged appeared on my face indicating it was processing my ID. But, to my surprise, Klik tagged me as “?”... disappointing. I tried again and again with no avail. At first, I figured my wildly good looks sent the app into confusion. So I tried an office buddy, but she was identified as a HE! How frustrating! However, after a recent update, the recognition process seems to be faster and more accurate than when first downloaded. Additionally, unrecognized faces can be labeled by hand; and the more photos you save, the better it gets at recognizing you. So, Klik does get easier to use over time, as long as it can hold your attention long enough.
General utility: 3 out of 5.
The premise behind Klik is very cool, and it is fun to play around with. However, the frustration associated with semi-often identification problems outweigh the benefits of using, yet another, camera app. Sure, the app pull out all the necessary stops: it has a few kick-ass filters (albeit not enough), an easy-to-use interface and allows you to post pictures to your social networks. But, the recognition tech alone doesn’t offer enough pizazz to justify regular use, especially in light of other great camera apps like Instagram or Facebook Cover Designer.
User Engagement: 5 out of 5.
Well done, Klik. Well done. I was pleasantly surprised after discovering that the app offers a location service that integrates with Foursquare. The process happens automatically but, just like Foursquare, you can pull up a list of nearby locations and select as desired. Additionally, pictures posted to your timeline/Twitter are BIG and pretty! And, lastly, you can save pictures to your camera roll in case you want to keep them around.
“Keeper” factor: 3 out of 5.
Klik is cool but, as it stands, I doubt users will return again after the initial mystification wears off.
Review by: @micahdwhitehead