As you age, will you more closely resemble your mother or father. Will your sister and you morph into look-alikes? If you aren’t curious about how you’ll age, how about replacing that frown in your last selfie with a photorealistic, toothy grin? This may be the best selfie enhancing app out there with shelf life.
FaceApp, which uses neural networks to edit selfies — lets users bend reality, such as adding a smile, or shaving off a few years, or applying an enhancing ‘hotness’ filter. It’s like using AR without wearing goggles.
Facial morphs aren’t a new thing, but Face App does an especially good job. By applying artificial intelligence (neural networks) to blend facial features typically found in each of the filter profiles, you can see yourself as older, younger, or event as your alter-gender.
So how do you use the app? After opening FaceApp, you take a photo or select one you’ve already taken, and select a transformation option: adding a smile, looking younger, looking older and changing gender.
Then you can view your transformation. Wrinkles, age spots, gray hair and yellower teeth are applied in the “old” filter. A squarer jaw, facial hair and long hair removal are applied in the “male” filter. In the “smile” transformation, the blending element is particularly evident when a frown and is literally turned upside down – adding teeth if available from older photos stored in the app.
While adding a smile may seem like a simple modification, it isn’t. If you think about it, it isn’t just the mouth, but also the eyes, cheeks, eyebrows, and more. The app also has to consider posture, lighting, skin color, shape of lips and eyes, and photo quality (graininess, focus, etc.).
Face App transformations are better because it keeps the image photorealistic. If you are going for being more attractive, you’ll still look natural, only better.
The app was developed by founder and CEO Yaroslav Goncharov, a former head of department at Yandex who funded the project out of his own pocket.
Whether photorealism remains popular, in an era of increasing reality augmentation that many other apps offer, remains to be seen. After all, adding a smile to a grumpy photo may be fun once, but likely not ongoing. But Goncharov believes he has a hit on his hands. FaceApp has been downloaded more than a million times just two weeks since its launch (the app is iOS only for now). This is pretty remarkable given Goncharov has spent nothing on marketing yet. All growth has been organic, thanks to social sharing.
Have you used this app? We’d love to see your transformations.