Early we reported that the Developers’ Challenge at the Android Homecoming had been removed from the site and we weren’t sure if it was gone for good. A few hours later, Brief Mobile reported that they received an email stating that the challenge was still on.
The initial challenge was based off developers using Face.com’s SDK. Developers reached out to the AH’s organizers saying they would rather use a different company’s SDK. This went hand and hand with Google’s Eric Schmidt’s statement on how he is against using server based facial recognition technology. The email BriefMobile received stated another company had decided to step in and offer facial recognition technology that was not server based. As to the name of the company, that has not been released but TheDroidGuy and AndroidHomecoming have been tweeting there will be an “OTA Update” on Tuesday. I guess we’ll have to see what happens then.
This was the email BriefMobile received:
Dear Android Homecoming Developer Challenge Participant,
Thank you so much for your submission to the Android Homecoming Developer Challenge contest. Over the past few weeks we’ve been evaluating the entries into the contest along with the technology behind our current sponsor and their SDK.
As you are aware the Face.com sdk is a server based facial recognition technology.
When we originally announced the contest we received a number of emails from developers who said they would be more interested if we had used a different facial recognition partner.
On May 31, 2011 Google’s Executive Chairman, Eric Schmidt, spoke out against server based facial recognition technology, with privacy being his underlying concern. The media partners and presenting sponsors of the Android Homecoming event became concerned with the position that Google is vocally taking in regards to server based mobile facial recognition technology.
Another major company in the facial recognition arena offers device side facial recognition sdk’s. We are currently finalizing the details to change over to that companies SDK’s and at that time the prize will increase dramatically. Those SDK’s will be given to you early next week and you will have plenty of time to rework or adjust your apps accordingly.
We are certain that once this partner is revealed all of you will be excited about the opportunity. In addition, on-site at the Android Homecoming event the developer relations team from this company will spend time with each of you and regardless of outcome of the contest may still elect to support your application for further development and distribution.
Trust me when I tell you that this is a very good thing. We will communicate more information with you early next week.
This is very good news for the developers who were planning to attend the event. Remember there is still time to purchase tickets at $18/person. Room and board is up to you but the event planners have some great deals with the surrounding hotels. And as I mentioned before, there is a bus that will transport you to the Android BBQ in Texas right after the event as well! Check out the info here: Androidhomecoming