With Internet Explorer 7 now offering add-ons and Firefox's extensions expanding to bigger and better things, Internet browsers are becoming more powerful and influential by the day. One new development attracting a lot of attention is the Polar Rose photo-recognition and tagging software.
Currently in beta, and available for Firefox only, Polar Rose automatically finds photos of people on any Web page you're viewing, adding a drop-down menu next to every face. From there you can name the person and group him or her to any selection of photos already under that name.
This means you will then be able to search for a person and find a bunch of photos specifically of them, in a similar way to Facebook, but across the whole Internet. The software analyses the images themselves rather than sifting the accompanying text, file names or metadata, as Google's Image Search does.
After signing up to Polar Rose's mailing list, you may be lucky enough to participate in the ongoing beta, but the company is quick to point out that it's an early beta and there are some known problems. At the moment, if you open several tabs while the extension is installed, Firefox may crash.
Beyond tackling bugs, Polar Rose is also adding a favourites option to the new version and a 'this is me' tag, with content filtering and an IE plug-in set for a later date. Here's hoping spammers don't ruin this imaginative app. -Sam Bathe