Kairos Acquires IMRSV, Releases Facial Biometrics Tools

Kairos, a face recognition and biometrics startup, has just announced the acquisition of IMRSV, a company that specializes in technology capable of recognizing facial expressions and measuring facial emotions using a standard webcam. As a result of the acquisition, Kairos is now offering a new set of facial biometrics tools that developers can use to add face recognition and/or emotion analysis capabilities to their applications. This new set of facial biometrics tools currently consists of a Face Recognition API, Crowd Analytics SDK, and IMRSV camera-enabled software.

The IMRSV Cara Cloud demo shows a very basic example of facial-detection analysis from an uploaded photo. Photo from Google Images.

Computer vision is just one of the many applications for machine learning that has experienced rapid growth and increasing popularity in the past few years. One of the most popular uses of computer vision is building image-recognition systems and applications capable of detecting and identifying people, faces, buildings, animals, landscapes, and other objects in photos and video. Many image-recognition systems are also capable of understanding scenes in photos and can summarize and/or categorize what an image is about based on the context and objects contained in the image.

The acquisition of IMRSV, developer of the Cara emotion analytics platform, allows Kairos to provide an enterprise quality facial biometrics platform that can be easily integrated with third-party applications as well as enterprise systems. Kairos has just released a set of facial biometrics tools that developers can use to integrate the Kairos platform with their applications:

  • Face Recognition API – Incorporate face recognition, the ability to recognize unique faces in images, into third-party applications. This is a Web-based REST API that can be used with any programming language. However, there are also SDKs for PHP, iOS, Android, JavaScript, and Ruby available.
  • Crowd Analytics SDK – Using this SDK, developers can build applications that feature crowd analytics. Crowd analytics is the ability to detect and recognize faces in images or video and provide information such as quantity, gender, age, and focus of faces. At the time of this writing, the Crowd Analytics SDK is available for C++ on Mac and Linux, and C++ and C# on Windows.
  • IMRSV (formerly CaraCV) – This is a camera-enabled software solution developed by IMRSV that is able to gather continuous audience analytics, bringing online measurement to offline engagements.

There is also an Emotion Analysis API that is currently in closed beta. This is a Web-based REST API that enables applications to recognize facial expressions and measure emotions in images or video. Kairos is slowly rolling out this API out across customers and it should be released to developers in Q3 2015.

We reached out to Brian Brackeen, Kairos Founder and CEO, who provided ProgrammableWeb additional details about the acquisition of IMRSV and some of the plans the company has for the future.

There are quite a few companies that provide face recognition platforms featuring celebrity recognition, the ability to identify most celebrities from photos and/or video. Brackeen told ProgrammableWeb that the company actually has a lot of customers that use the Kairos platform for their own celebrity recognition applications. For this reason, there are no plans to add celebrity recognition to the Kairos platform.

The acquisition of IMRSV has allowed Kairos to bundle the APIs and SDKs of both platforms as a new set of facial biometrics tools. Brackeen explained to ProgrammableWeb that the company is working on building a brand new API that will combine the capabilities of both platforms. The company plans on making it possible for one API call to perform both face recognition and emotion analysis in the future.

Brackeen also discussed the applications for facial biometrics, for which there are many. A few examples of use cases for facial biometrics:

  • Healthcare Services – In the event of a medical emergency in which the patient is unconscious, facial biometrics can be used to identify the individual so that their medical records can be accessed. Paramedics would then be able to check for warnings about allergic reactions to medicine, etc.
  • Online Classes - Facial biometrics can be used to ensure that the person taking an online exam is the actual person enrolled in the class.
  • Credit Card Payments - Facial biometrics can be used in some cases to prevent identity theft and credit card fraud. The identity of the individual presenting a credit card at a retail store checkout could be verified, ensuring that they are the actual cardholder.

While facial biometrics is a technology primarily designed for the enterprise market, developers can use Kairos APIs and SDKs to build innovative applications that feature face recognition and emotion analytics.

“The thing I enjoy most about working at Kairos is seeing all the incredible things that people create with our technology. If you put me in a room for a hundred years I couldn’t have come up with some of the applications for the technology that we’re already seeing early access developers doing. It’s very inspiring for our team and in the near future these innovations will inspire our broader developer community,” said Brackeen.

For more information about the Kairos platform and new facial biometrics tools for developers, visit Kairos.com.

Janet Wagner is a technical writer and contributor to ProgrammableWeb covering breaking news, in-depth analysis, and product reviews. She specializes in creating well-researched, in-depth content about APIs, machine learning, deep learning, computer vision, analytics, GIS/maps, and other advanced technologies.

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