Facebook’s empire was built on photo tags and sharing, but it’s a grueling process many neglect. Luckily, new Facebook patents give it tech to continuously capture video whenever your camera is open, rank and surface the best images, and auto-tag them with people, places, and businesses. They tease a future where pattern, facial, and audio recognition identify what you’re seeing for easy sharing.

The patents are for Automatic Photo Capture Based on Social Components and Identity Recognition (’80), Preferred images from captured video sequence (’00), and Image selection from captured video sequence based on social components (’65). The were filed for in October 2011 and granted over the last two months to Facebook and its employees Andrew “Boz” Bosworth, David Garcia, and Soleio Cuervo (who now works at Dropbox).

The patents cover some colocation technologies similar to that of failed startup Color, who came out of stealth in March 2011 a few months before Facebook filed for the patents. That may be no coincidence, and Color’s ideas for using every available sensor on a phone to tell who someone is with may have inspired Facebook to brainstorm in the space. Soon after Color emerged from stealth, I called on Facebook to develop its own colocation technology to help it forge an “implicit social graph” of who you spend time with. What it came up with could redefine the way we share.

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