New Face.com API Alternative Ready for Your Photos

Adam DuVander, July 24th, 2012

LambdaLabs FaceIt’s been a little over two weeks since the latest Facebook API euthanasia which saw the Face.com API shuttered. Among those disappointed by the API shutdown were the founders of LambdaLabs, which quickly began work on an alternative, the LambdaLabs Face API. Though not as full-featured as the Face.com API, Lambda’s looks likely to stay online longer.

If all you need is basic face detection, this API likely suits your needs. It identifies the face, nose and mouth. It just added gender detection, though it’s not 100%, something that was also true of Face.com, to the chagrin of some of my apparently more feminine male friends. My favorite feature, facial mood detection, is not implemented nor on the roadmap. Smile detection is expected, but no timeline is given.

To be a serious face API, you need to be able to do face recognition in addition to detection. According to the LambdaLabs site, that is coming July 30.

Face.comFace detection and recognition are not simple problems. In my discussions with Face.com, it was clear the company thought highly of its technology. “The new face recognition algorithm uses a group of new techniques to boost results by 30%,” Face.com’s Gil Hirsch told me in March. “We’re used to increments of 3% per year. It’s mostly focusing on reducing false positives.” Among Face.com’s methods is converting photos to 3D to make a map of the face.

It’s unclear whether Face.com’s technology really is as great as its CEO thinks (there were questionable facial age detection results). Even more unclear is whether the team behind LambdaLabs can recreate it in a couple weeks. But I’m sure glad they’re trying.

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6 Responses to “New Face.com API Alternative Ready for Your Photos”

July 27th, 2012
at 2:01 pm
Comment by: API Spotlight: Twitter Trends, Face Detection and the Census

[...] which takes up where the Face.com API left off. We said it’s a great first release, but needs to add face recognition in addition to detection. That feature is coming soon. Read more in the LambdaLabs Face API post or [...]

July 30th, 2012
at 2:03 pm
Comment by: Stephen Balaban

We’re working on getting the face recognition out the door this week. If you guys have any questions, suggestions, or thoughts on how we can make your face recognition app integration go smoothly, tweet us @LambdaAPI or email me at s@lambdal.com.

- Stephen Balaban, Founder – Lambda Labs

August 9th, 2012
at 7:57 am
Comment by: Tanya

Another option for some face.com developers is the face recognition API from BioID. Since BioID’s technology was developed for authentication it won’t support all the features of face.com like identifying multiple points on the face, or attributes like gender, age, mood, etc., and face detection is stricter.

On the other hand, it also supports voice recognition, the face recognition algorithm is much better and liveness detection is built in, which can tell the difference between a live face and a photo. It can extract high-quality face images, and can also be used for applications such as face or voice similarity search, fraud detection, image quality checks for passport photos or mugshots, and of course authentication.

For a detailed comparison, check out
https://www.bioid.com/solutions/solutions-by-application/bioid-for-facedotcom.html

August 25th, 2012
at 12:34 pm
Comment by: Jan

And another face API worth checking: http://rekognition.com

September 6th, 2012
at 12:22 am
Comment by: Ronen

Just tried all 3 (rekognition, lambda and face.com – their playground page is still up) on a same set of images:

Lambda: 0 out of 10
Rekognition 2 out of 10
Face.com 8 out of 10
(tried one simple image on BIOID, but got lot’s of errors about bad image quality/contrast/lighting/size/etc. and no actual results)

So I guess there is no real alternative to Face.com just yet. Maybe FB will bring it back somehow…

September 8th, 2012
at 5:15 pm
Comment by: Tim

Another option for robust emotion recognition and facial features is nViso 3D Facial Imaging API (http://www.nviso.ch)

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Adam DuVander
Executive Editor, ProgrammableWeb. Author, Map Scripting 101. Lover, APIs.