Google confirms it's buying facial recognition firm Viewdle

It's official -- Google's Motorola Mobility acquires the Ukrainian maker of facial recognition technology that automatically tags photos.

Dara Kerr Former senior reporter
Dara Kerr was a senior reporter for CNET covering the on-demand economy and tech culture. She grew up in Colorado, went to school in New York City and can never remember how to pronounce gif.
Dara Kerr
Viewdle technology provides the ability to automatically tag photos. Viewdle

The rumors have been confirmed, Google's Motorola Mobility is indeed acquiring the facial recognition technology company Viewdle.

"Motorola Mobility today announced that it has acquired Viewdle, a leading imaging & gesture recognition company," a Motorola spokesperson told CNET today. "Motorola and Viewdle have an existing commercial agreement and have been collaborating for some time. Terms of the transaction were not disclosed."

CNET reported on Monday that Google was about to close a deal to buy Viewdle, which is a Ukrainian maker of facial recognition technology that automatically tags photos. Apparently the acquisition had been in the works for more than a year. According to a source, Motorola was already in talks with Viewdle when Google acquired it last year.

It makes sense that Google was looking to get its hands on Viewdle -- its technology provides a way for users of Google+, Android, Picasa, and other services on a range of devices to easily (even, automatically) tag photos of friends.

Facebook also has made a play in this space, earlier this year buying Face.com along with its Photo Tagger auto-tagging app.

The final purchase price is not yet known, but some estimates say it is toward the high end of a $30 million to $45 million range.

Updated at 6:45 p.m. PT with comment from Motorola Mobility.