Earlier this week we saw the first Glass app to use facial recognition, called MedRef for Glass and developed by Lance Nanek. In my research, I found that MedRef uses a web service for its facial recognition, Betafaceapi.com. Betafaceapi has a demo on their site where you can upload your own photos:
So I gave it a whirl. I uploaded my Google+ profile photo along with another two photos and got some interesting results.
The software maps your face and returns some of data. When I went to the “Recognition” tab and clicked “Compare with celebrities” I received an assortment of photos of actresses who apparently look like me, at least according to this software. I believe the multi-colored bar across the bottom of the photo indicates how strong the resemblance is. Then, when I clicked on “Compare with detected faces”, I got the results of comparing my three photos with the one photo I had clicked on.
Of course the software picks up a strong resemblance between the two identical pictures. However, it seems my resemblance to these other two photos of me is weak. The bar doesn’t even make it over to the green.
Yes, apparently this facial recognition software believes I look more like a bunch of celebrities than like myself.
So no, I’m not too worried about it. Maybe the government has access to that kind of technology AND the photo database that would be needed to make use of it, but I don’t think that stuff is available to the rest of us just yet.