Smile-Measuring Device Knows How Happy or Sad You Are
Facial-recognition specialist OMRON has unveiled its latest catalyst in bringing about the impending marketing and focus-group apocalypse. It's a "smile detector" -- essentially a piece of software capable of objectively measuring the smiles of humans (and eventually humanoids, we presume), and attributing to them a percentage rating. Enjoying that television show/site/"adult film"? Pretty soon "They" will know, down to the nearest self-loathing grimace.
The system -- which was shown at the Japanese consumer electronics show CEATEC last week -- analyzes faces using a 3D model-fitting technique; it's able to tell identity people, estimate age and gender, and track pupil or eyelid movements. The company claims the OKAO, as the recognition-system is called, is also an "unbiased piece of software, capable of measuring the facial features of all ethnicities." Even Michael Jackson.
We tried out the age-recognition feature last week in Tokyo and were disappointed to see it get our age wrong by 10 years (that said, we were flattered, because OKAO thought we were a decade younger).
Of course, there are other, somewhat less apocalyptic uses for the technology as well, including identity theft prevention, building-entry management, driver monitoring systems in cars (to make sure you don't fall asleep and what not), access control for age-restricted content, and cameras that ensure everyone in the frame is smiling before the picture is taken.
Say (String) Cheese(TM).
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