Riya - Facial/Text Recognition meta-photo software

Riya seems to be a pretty promising set of technologies, although whether or not it pans out to be a successful product is another story. At the core of Riya is a set of facial and text recognition algorithms that can intelligently identify people or keywords within photographs. Consequently as photos are added to the gallery rich meta-data can be passively pulled from the photos without any user interaction. In instances where a person or text cannot be identified it is possible to manually add this meta-data or have others supply further tags to your photographs to identify people in crowds or foreign words.

Riya (click to enlarge)
A screenshot of Riya at work (click to enlarge)

The CEO of Riya was recently involved in a podcast discussion with Steve Gillmor, Doc Searls and a group of others. The discussion was very interesting, albeit a little slow at times and marred by a technical fault at the very end. One thing that would really benefit the technology/product is an open API to allow other developers to tie their products or services into it similar to Google Maps. Unfortunately it sounds like work is still frantically underway to get a gallery product together without any thought of an API or other applications. This strategy is probably angling for a buyout from Google or Microsoft now that Yahoo has started the ball rolling by their purchase of Flickr recently. Still a pretty interesting development and amazingly powerful if tied together with something like Google Maps for an unbelievably rich amount of meta-data.