Mater semper certa est

My (digital) camera has a face detection feature. You can take a reference picture of a person and then the camera will on later pictures show a rectangle around a face when the camera finds sufficient similarity between the photographed person and the reference picture. I do not know why the feature is there, because I do not see that the information is available after transferring the picture files to a computer. And when you take a picture of a person you usually know whether it is the person of whom you took a reference picture earlier.

Reading the manual revealed the reason for the face detection feature: „The camera can store information on the face and personal details (name, relationship, and birth date) of portrait subjects and assign these subjects priority for Intelligent Face Detection or display their names and other information during playback.“ Uh-huh. So the autofocus prioritizes people I choose. Sounds a bit overengineered. Ok, engineers won.

Turning the page I read: „If you attempt to zoom in on the face of a person indicated by a green border in the face recognition database on their birthday, the camera will display their name and the message ‚Happy Birthday!'“ Sounds like an easter egg, but since it is explained in the manual, it is a serious and unnecessary feature. Ok, product marketing management won.

What fascinated me recently was not the autofocus priority. I took a picture of my daughter and the camera recognized her as my wife, i.e., my daugther’s mother. I feel relieved, now we know that we took the correct baby home when leaving the hospital after birth…

About Author: Hanno Langweg

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