Facebook makes us face facts about impact of lifestyle

IF you ever doubted a man’s face is his autobiography and a woman’s her work of fiction, look no further than the latest Facebook application.

MirrorMe, launched yesterday, simulates facial ageing in a manner unlikely to conclude that your face will remain your fortune.

Instead, having weighed up the effects of lifestyle, and availing of CSI-style facial recognition technology, MirrorMe will give a no-wrinkles-barred presentation of what your kisser will look like going into the future.

Bad habits will influence the outcome – smoking is certain to add a few creases – and drinking and illegal drug-taking are also factored in to determine what your nose may look like.

Junk food and sunbed use will also have a bearing on what your face eventually turns into.

To use MirrorMe, simply upload an image of your face or use your Facebook profile picture, and answer a few simple questions relating to lifestyle and habits. The application then scours for over 86 points on the face, generating a new image of the user’s face, based on how they might look in future if they continue in their current lifestyle.

The points are then used to accurately distort face shapes to show changes with ageing and weight variation.

MirrorMe uses advanced Facial Recognition technology, similar to that used by the CIA and police and security organisations.

Although primarily designed to be free and fun, it does take medical factors into account, creating rules that can be applied to each individual person. Factors such as location, ethnic origin, habits and lifestyle are also used.

Invented by young whiz kids at Ideonic, a games studio in Middlesbrough, Channel 4’s digital fund 4iP and Northern Film and Media have invested in the product.

The technology is based on advanced facial recognition technology developed by German face recognition experts BetaFace.

Jeremiah Alexander, Ideas Architect at Ideonic, who leads the Ideonic team that developed the application, said it had been an interesting project to work on.

“It required us to combine our creative and digital skills with advanced facial recognition technology and also medical research.”

He said the team has had fun developing the product. “We’re really excited about the potential of the application to inspire change and hope that everybody enjoys it,” Alexander said.


Louisa Earls is a manager at Books Upstairs, D’Olier St, Dublin, which is owned by her father, Maurice Earls.Virus response writes a new chapter for Books Upstairs

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