Friday, March 24, 2006

Riya goes Beta!

After a bit of impatient waiting on my part, Riya went beta this week!

Riya promises to help reduce that growing mountain of digital photos my family and I have been collecting over the last five years since my son was born into something searchable, and maybe even useable.

The key to Riya is its face-recognition software. So far, I've uploaded over 500 photos and it's spot on in recognizing faces. But just picking faces out of pictures isn't enough. To be useful in cataloging and indexing your pictures Riya needs your help.

You help Riya by training it in various ways to recognize faces and to recognize specific faces (i.e. family, friends). You can also upload your contacts and cross-reference faces across the Riya site. I haven't tried this part yet, since most of my family and friends don't have email addresses yet.

So far, I'm impressed by the site. There's many ways to train the software and it does seem to be getting quicker at face recognition. If nothing else, I can see it improving because it's consistently picking out pictures of the same person and asking me to identify them all together.

Riya can also tag your pictures with regular tags as well for searching, and it will also tag photos with signs or text in the background. I've noticed that it prefers text in straight lines vs. curved patterns. I have a few pictures of a zoom lens where the text is clear and Riya didn't pick up on it.

I'll keep blogging about Riya here as I go along, so keep watching this space.

I've also got to send out a big thanks to Miss Rogue of horsepigcow for keeping me on her list. I'm really grateful for being included in the beta. Since starting I've been looking at older pictures I'd completely forgotten about. It's given me a chance to really reflect on how my family (i.e. my kids) have grown over the last five years. Thank you for that.

More to come!

It requires user training to help recognize the faces of your friends and family.