Google recently acquired a company called Neven Vision whos description on Googles blog is as follows
Neven Vision comes to Google with deep technology and expertise around automatically extracting information from a photo. It could be as simple as detecting whether or not a photo contains a person, or, one day, as complex as recognizing people, places, and objects. This technology just may make it a lot easier for you to organize and find the photos you care about. We don’t have any specific features to show off today, but we’re looking forward to having more to share with you soon.
Neven Visions technology has also been used in conjuction with Logitech to produce Facial movement tracking technology for use with standard webcams, this sort of stuff would help really bring avatar to avatar interactions to life.
This stuff might look like kids play, but there is some serious comp/sci theory going on in the background here.
Another clever play in the virtual worlds space for Google, or just a coincidence ?