If you just smile

Burlingame, California-based FotoNation has developed a means to detect smiles in portrait photos taken by digital cameras and camera phones.

The SmileCheck software, which made its debut at the 2008 Photo Marketing Association (PMA) Convention, is an extension module of FotoNation’s FaceTracker product line.

SmileCheck works by monitoring the video preview stream in the cameras during framing, first looking for faces in the scene of the photo. Once faces are detected, the software looks for facial features associated with smiles. 
SmileCheck enables a new type of picture taking mode called ‘Smile Shutter’ in digital cameras. Once the camera’s trigger button is depressed, the shutter is not engaged until smiles are detected on all faces within the frame!

The company expects to find a market for the new software with portrait studios as well as school and event photographers.