RealNetworks is celebrating its 25th anniversary with a pair of new facial recognition video products. The first is a browser extension that automatically identifies celebrities and other public figures in streaming videos on sites like YouTube and Netflix, while the second is an updated media player that does the same for downloaded videos. The RealPlayer 20/20 can also can be used to organize a video library based on the people in those videos.
The browser extension has been dubbed StarSearch, and it is available through the Google Chrome store for Mac and PC. RealPlayer 20/20 is only available for Windows computers in the U.S. and Canada, though it will make its way to other parts of the world later in the year. Both platforms have been released for free, and leverage the technology in RealNetworks’ SAFR computer vision platform.
According to RealNetworks, the new tools will be useful to viewers who struggle to remember the names of the famous people that appear in their favorite videos. StarSearch will timestamp the scenes in which a specific person appears, allowing users to skip ahead if they so desire. The platform will also provide photos and other information when a user clicks on a video.
“More than 80 percent of consumers often ask themselves who’s on the screen they’re watching. There’s no longer a need to do a web search or reach for your phone,” explained RealNetworks Consumer Media VP Frederick Savoye.
RealNetworks launched its SAFR facial recognition platform back in 2018, and then announced an upgraded version of the platform at ISC West in early 2019. The company has spent the past few months trying to increase its SAFR sales, eventually placing the technology in a new video conferencing device from Katai. RealNetworks has emphasized the platform’s ability to identify people wearing masks during the COVID-19 pandemic.
June 3, 2020 – by Eric Weiss