Daily App Review: Klik For iPhoneAmong all the gadgetry on display in Mission Impossible IV, perhaps the most striking was an iPhone app that could identify people who appeared on the camera screen. Well, Klik aims to do just that for more normal iPhone users.
The app is available, quite remarkably, for free on the iTunes App Store. You need a Facebook ID to log into it, but given the fact that just about everybody in the world is on Facebook, that should not prove to be an issue for most users. However, the real magic of the app reveals itself when you launch it and point at a person you know--in most cases you will see the name of the person appearing right above their faces on the display. It is rather magical, and while it seems to work best with those friends who are already on your Facebook account, you also get the chance to tag the faces of those people who are either not on your Facebook or are not identified correctly by the app--just snap a picture of the person and add a name to it (you can choose to share this ID or keep it private, as per your needs). You can also add locations and if you are the Instagram types, even throw in a filter or two. Just remember to use the app frequently--as in voice recognition, here too, the more images of a person the app identifies, the quicker it works.
Which of course brings us to the little matter of speed. We found that while the app worked fairly quickly on a 3G/Wi-Fi connection, identifying a person within a few seconds, it lagged visibly on EDGE and GPRS, and what's worse, often failed to identify the person altogether, leaving a question mark hovering above their faces. We also found it working a whole lot faster on the iPhone than on the iPod touch or iPad--whether this has anything to do with the better camera on the device, we know not, but while it can work with the iPod and iPad, the iPhone is clearly the best device on which to use this app.
As of now, we must confess to being more impressed with the potential of Klik than its actual practical use, which is currently limited to party tricks and the odd time when you walk into a room and can recall but not remember the faces of people in it. However, we do think it represents a huge step forward in the field of face-recognition technology, and is by far the most mainstream app we have seen in the field.
Imagine aligning this with augmented reality app, so that when you point your phone's camera at a place, you not only get information about the place but also find out the people who are there. Yes, one will need to have proper privacy protection measures in place to ensure that such an app is not misused, but as we said, the sheer potential of this app is nothing short of mind-boggling.
And even as we wait for Klik (or maybe another of its kind) to move up to the next level in face recognition, it is not half-cool to point your device at someone and watch the sheer disbelief on their faces when it identifies them. MI IV stuff, as we said earlier. A definite must-download.Available from: iTunes App Store Price: Free--Nimish Dubey