Smartphone users will soon be able to identify people using a facial recognition app for the very first time.
London-based firm Blippar is set to add the Augmented Reality Face Profile feature to its app enabling users to scan – or ‘blipp’ a face, either in person, or from an image or TV.
This will unlock a profile with information about that person including links to their social media profiles.
The app will recognise public figures, and users can also set up their own face profiles.
‘Augmented Reality Face Profiles will change the way we communicate and express ourselves,’ says Ambarish Mitra, co-founder and CEO at Blippar.
‘Our face is our most expressive form of communication and with this release we are allowing this to become digital for the first time.
‘Our facial recognition technology combined with our knowledge graph enables people to express themselves through the things they love, including their hobbies, opinions, key fun facts, and so much more.
‘This is a new, unique and fun way of showing who you are and of learning more about others.’
Up until now, the Blippar app, which is available on both iOS and Android, has used machine learning to enable users to scan everyday objects using their smartphone to find out more information about them.
The app has also been used for various promotions, including packaging, posters and magazines, where scanning the item will fire up an AR experience – such as bringing at magazine cover ‘to life’.
The updated app will enable people to scan faces in order to find out more about them.
The profiles will be a strictly opt-in experience, confirmed Blippar.
These will include curated information and images including optional links to social media profiles, favourite music and even their own celebrity lookalike.
Users will also be able to add connections to things that already exist in Blippar’s ‘knowledge graph’, including ‘objects, concepts and entities’.
For public figures, their faces will be discoverable via information from the knowledge graph, which is pulled together from publicly accessible sources.
More than 70,000 public figures will be recognizable at launch, including actors, politicians, musicians, singers, entrepreneurs, authors, sports stars and scientists.
Public figures can also set up their own AR Face Profile.
Facial scanning technology is increasingly being used by big tefirms such as Snapchat with its filters that scan the users face before adding comical features.
Facebook has experimented with similar technology which can be used to automatically suggest tags for photos.
Last month, the social media firm purchased FacioMetrics, a facial recognition software firm, in a push to integrate the technology further into the platform.
By scanning the faces of millions of users around the world, the software could measure reactions to develop gesture-based controls, such as smiling for a like.
While facial recognition has been used in a number of guises on smartphone platforms before now, this is the first to bring up information on the person involved.
The new feature was originally scheduled to launch today but has been postponed for approximately 10-12 days so that the developers can address any last-minute bugs and ensure that the updated app runs smoothly.
‘This feature was originally planned for launch today,’ Blippar boss Ambarish Mitra told MailOnline.
‘However, as we strive to offer our users the best possible experience, we have decided to delay this feature in order to meet our own high quality standards.
‘We are extremely excited about this new release and very much look forward to putting it into the hands of users very soon’.