I’m not one to get all worked up over new technologies. But sometimes I find something that I can’t stop thinking about. And today is one of those days. Check out Dreambit–a uniquely specific search engine being tested now that will take your face and swap it into a traditional image search.
[Scroll Down for Video]
The concept is simple enough to explain. People have been doing it for years with Photoshop, but the process required a lot of work. You take an image that is taken from a similar angle, and your face is placed over the face in the image.
The result, at least when Dreambit does it, is fast. And the program is very effective. While the results aren’t going to fool anyone skilled in forensic image studies, it will provide a convincing set of doppelgangers.
Ira Kemelmacher-Shlizerman, a computer vision researcher at the University of Washington, is the creative spark behind the idea. While Dreambit has obvious time-wasting benefits for those who simply want to see what they’d look like with different hair, or a completely different body, there’s a much more productive idea at work here.
Kemelmacher-Shlizerman also works with facial recognition software. She’s built systems that automate age progression. Together, these technologies can provide exceptional resources for the detective working missing persons cases.
“With missing children, people often dye their hair or change the style so age-progressing just their face isn’t enough,” Kemelmacher-Shlizerman wrote in a UW press release. “This is a first step in trying to imagine how a missing person’s appearance might change over time.”
When the program is out of its beta testing mode, it will be put to use immediately. There’s already been interest expressed by the FBI and the intelligence community.
And, as it has been with the internet since its inception, there will be recreational uses for the software as well. Autoerotique entrepreneurs will be the ones who make the program profitable.