Google buying face-recognition firm Viewdle

Google is close to completing its deal to buy Viewdle, a Ukrainian maker of facial recognition technology that automatically tags photos, according to a person familiar with the deal.

Viewdle technology provides the ability to automatically tag photos.
(Credit: Viewdle)

The acquisition, which has been in the works for more than a year, is expected to close this week, the person said.

Representatives from Google and Viewdle declined to comment.

The move makes sense for Google as Viewdle's technology provides a way for users of Google+, Android, Picasa and other services, on a range of devices, to easily (even, automatically) tag photos of friends. Viewdle's SocialCamera app automatically tags Facebook friends and the company has released an Android game called Third Eye.

Facebook also has made a play in this space by buying earlier this year, along with its Photo Tagger auto-tagging app.

The Google-Viewdle deal — which could close as soon as tonight — had been started with talks between Motorola and Viewdle before the handset maker was acquired by Google last year, according to the source (who asked not to be named). The purchase price is toward the high end of US$30 million to US$45 million range, according to the source.


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