Posted On: Nov 21, 2017

Amazon Rekognition added three new features today: detection and recognition of text in images; real-time face recognition across tens of millions of faces; and detection of up to 100 faces in challenging crowded photos. Customers who are already using Amazon Rekognition for face verification and identification will experience up to a 10% accuracy improvement in most cases. 

Text in Image: Customers using Amazon Rekognition to detect objects and faces in images have been asking us to recognize text embedded in images, such as street signs and license plates captured by traffic cameras, news, and captions on TV screens, or stylized quotes overlaid on phone-captured family pictures. Starting today, you can use Rekognition Text in Image to recognize and extract textual content from images. Text in Image is specifically built to work with real-world images rather than document images. It supports text in most Latin scripts and numbers embedded in a large variety of layouts, fonts, and styles, and overlaid on background objects at various orientation as banners and posters.

For example, in image sharing and social media applications, you can now enable visual search based on an index of images that contain the same keywords. In media and entertainment applications, you can catalogue videos based on relevant text on screen, such as ads, news, sport scores, and captions. Additionally, in security and safety applications, you can identify vehicles based on license plate numbers from images taken by street cameras.

“As a visually-driven platform, Pinterest relies heavily on the speed and quality of images, but the text behind those images is just as important, as it provides context and makes Pins actionable for our 200M+ active Pinners. In working with Amazon Rekognition Text in Image, we can better extract the rich text captured in images at scale and with low latency for the millions of Pins stored in Amazon S3. We look forward to continuing to develop the partnership with AWS for high quality and fast experiences for Pinners and businesses on Pinterest.” - Vanja Josifovski, CTO, Pinterest

“Professional photographers often use SmugMug to share and sell photos containing text, for example, the numbers on marathon race bibs. Amazon Rekognition Text in Image allows us to programmatically extract bib numbers at scale and provide event photographers with even more functionality to quickly and easily share and monetize photos from these events. " - Don MacAskill, Co-founder, CEO & Chief Geek at SmugMug

Face Search and Detection: With Amazon Rekognition, you can now perform real-time face searches against collections with tens of millions of faces. This represents a 5-10X reduction in search latency, while simultaneously allowing for collections that can store 10-20X more faces than before.

In security and safety applications, you can now identify people of interest against a collection of millions of faces in near real-time, enabling use cases such as timely and accurate crime prevention. The Washington County Sheriff’s Office is the primary first responder for 911 calls from the citizens in Oregon. The office also provides support for crime prevention to other city police departments countywide. The Sheriff’s Office had previously used Amazon Rekognition to reduce the identification time of suspects from 2-3 days down to minutes.

“These improvements allow deputies in the field to receive the response to searches in near real time. This allows them to get the information they need and take action quickly. Seconds saved in the field can make the difference in saving a life.” Chris Adzima, Senior Information Systems Analyst for the Washington County Sheriff’s Office.

Starting today, customers can also detect, analyze and index up to 100 faces (up from 15) in a single image. With this improvement, you can accurately capture demographics and analyze sentiments for all faces in group photos, crowded events and public locations such as airports and department stores.

To get started with Text in Image, Face Search and Face Detection, download the latest SDK or simply log in to the Amazon Rekognition Console to try out this feature with the supplied sample images, or your own images. For more information, please refer to the Amazon Rekognition documentation for Text in Image, Detecting Faces and Searching Faces.