What if you could go to a website and once there, it would take a photo of you, using your phone or computer camera, and then, accurately guess your age, gender and mood? Would you go there? Would you find any use for it? Some people must as the site Face.com promises to do all these things, and in the future, perhaps even more. Popular Science calls it “the next creepy step in facial recognition.” Gizmodo is more impressed, calling it a pleasant look at new recognition software that serves more to show what is coming in the future, than what is happening now.
Facial recognition software is all the rage. Marketers want it because it would allow them to tailor ads to specific groups, Gizmodo says. If you were to walk up to a billboard at a bus-stop for example, if it had a camera and computer, it could figure out how old you are, your gender, and perhaps how wealthy you are by what you are wearing, and then present a commercial aimed at your “category” of customer.
Face.com isn’t going that far, their site is more like a sideshow at a circus. Step right up and we’ll guess your age, your state of mind and yes, your gender too! The company, as PopSci explains is all about facial recognition, which results in actual products sold to clients, of course. The demo on their page is merely a draw to get people to come look, to gawk, and perhaps, to become inspired to purchase one of their products at a later date, particularly if you happen to work for an advertising firm.
Gizmodo, says that Face.com has bigger ambitions than that, they want web developers to buy their products and use them when building web sites. Imagine, flipping a customer’s camera on, the same way advertisers now switch on audio and video without first asking permission, and examining their face as they peer at actual content that might be lying next to an advertisement. That way, the ad could be tailored to the viewer just like the billboard. Or maybe, you’d present different main pages depending on the gender, age or mood of the visitor, or maybe you’d like to block kids from watching. The options are apparently limitless.
The writer at Gizmodo did indeed to test out Face.com, and found it incapable of coming anywhere close to guessing his correct age, though it did figure out his gender and roughly his mood, though it’s not hard to do so when someone is staring at a web page as most have the same look on their face. Glazed over.