Apple introduces facial and object recognition for mobile photographers

Remember that photo you took at a restaurant a few years ago? The one of the fancy dessert you want to show to a friend in the bar? In the past, you had to scroll through a thousand photos; a real conversation stopper. With the new Photos app in iOS 10, Apple is firing up the power of advanced computer vision technology, making it easier to find and group your images.

The computer vision tech used by Apple runs natively on your iPhone or iPad, meaning that it doesn’t require you to upload all the images to the cloud. In can recognize faces in your photos and group by person, but it also has advanced object recognition, making it possible to find images of any number of different things from your distant past. In other words: your phone now knows if you have taken photos of food, or horses, or mountains, to make retrieval of these images much, much easier.

According to Apple, your phone does more than 11bn computations per photo to recognize who and what is featured in the image.

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From here, it’s a short step to starting to tie computer vision and location-based image tags together, which Apple has done in their brand new Memories section of the photos app, which makes it possible for your images to be grouped by your groups of friends, or by location.

Apple describes iOS 10 as one of its biggest redesigns to date, and the new version of the OS has a load of improvements for those with an interest in photography. Summoning your camera from your lock screen, for example, is just a swipe from the right away. Clever stuff.