Friday, May 20, 2011

Who is that in the photo?

Have you ever looked through your family's photo album? You might find pictures of yourself as a child, your first birthday, your first loose tooth, your first time in a school play. You'll also find photos of relatives: aunts, uncles, great-grandparents, second cousins twice removed.

Flip those photos over, and I'll bet you'll find that someone wrote down who was in the photo.

In digital media, there's a similar way to identify people in photos. It's usually called a "tag" and this concept has been around for a long time. Pretty obvious, right? But applied to "social networking" (such as Facebook) this is now patented.

Patent 7,945,653 describes simply "Tagging digital media".

More from this article on BNet:
Patent number 7,945,653 is titled Tagging digital media. If you added “with someone’s identity,” this would be one of the rare cases where the title would reasonably describe what the patent covers.
Breaking it down, the claim involves the following:
  • There is a database of unspecified digital media.
  • Someone on a device (computer, smartphone, tablet, or what have you) brings up a file and associates it with the identity of a second person.
  • The second person gets a notification and can reject the identification.
So basically, this is "tagging" someone in a photo - with the added "social" action of notifying the other person that they were "tagged".

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