This has been brewing since 2006, when Google bought facial and object-recognition technology company Neven Vision. The same technology behind name tagging has even deeper implications for Google's ability to contextualize advertising. From a 2006 CNET article:
Do I mind that Google becomes more like a Big Brother that I know and love every day? Nope.
Neven's technology is already being used more broadly. The company sells the technology for mobile marketing purposes in an application called iScout. For example, people can use a regular camera cell phone to take a picture of a movie billboard, and then send the image to a special database that returns a film trailer, locates a theater showing the advertised movie, or let the person buy tickets to the film.It's possible with object and facial recognition software that can match images with those scanned into an Internet-connected database. A match can trigger a range of possible results, including promotions, ring tones, pricing, maps and search results.