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Google to purchase Viewdle for $30 million


According to industry sources, Google is near to completing a deal to purchase Viewdle, a facial recognition software vendor.

The company’s software allows smartphone manufacturers to embed facial-recognition technology into their handsets. Viewdle’s technology also enables augmented reality, device interaction, media management, gaming and social networking through mobile devices, such as smartphones, tablets, and other camera-enabled consumer electronics.

According to reports in Forbes, the search giant will acquire Viewdle for US$30 million.

Viewdle’s 36 employees, mostly based in the Ukraine, would join Google directly. Google would also gain access to Viewdle extensive portfolio of patents, which Viewdle argued its could not commercialize rapidly without greater financial investment.

Viewdle initially had been an acquisition target of Motorola Mobility before its was acquired by Google earlier this year. After Google announced plans to purchase Motorola’s mobility unit, takeover talks stalled but started back up after the Motorola buyout was finalized.

Founded in 2007, Viewdle was initially backed by Best Buy, Research In Motion’s BlackBerry Partners Fund and Qualcomm Ventures.

This is the second major facial recognition purchase in the last few months. As BiometricUpdate.com reported in June, Facebook purchased Face.com, a Tel Aviv-based technology company that developed a platform for efficient and accurate facial recognition in photos uploaded via Web and mobile applications.

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