Clever Apps Hint At How Images Will Change Social Networking

How you dress and how cool you're being may be next-gen social network triggers.

Google's Glass headset may be an even more potent social tool than you may believe, if a new system called InSight is anything to go by: It's clever enough to recognize people in the wearer's field of view by their dress sense alone, and then presents their name on the Glass's display.

The developers suggest it may also be useful for spotting your friends in a crowd at a concert or other busy venues--under these circumstances face recognition is not an option because the faces may be far away and not looking at the camera. Instead the team behind InSight worked out a way to "fingerprint" someone from their fashion--from clothes to accessories like jewelry. The app does require training by observing the subjects so it can associate an outfit with a definite ID, but there's definitely a hint here that Google Glass may have some significant social benefits that go far beyond merely being able to google for stuff.

Meanwhile an app called Now is leveraging real-time social imagery in a different way--to cut through the noise of social network alerts from services like Instagram. Instead of pinging you frequently to say a friend has popped a new Instagram photo up, Now spots if a friend is Instagramming from a trending location and only alerts you then. This has the upshot of letting you spot hot events that are going on nearby, and also cuts down on the amount of unwanted alerts you get on your smartphone. Or, we assume, on your future Google Glasses.

[Image: Flickr user razorray15]

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