Yahoo Japan has released Face Stealer, an AR app (App Store – Free) which makes your face look like someone else’s.
The iPhone app can generate a mask from a photo of basically anything with a face, such as an animal, celebrity, or comic character, and show it superimposed on live video of your face. Yahoo Japan has also developed a library which is used to analyze and reflect expressions and head movements in real time.
The resulting video or photo can then be shared via Facebook, Twitter or YouTube.
“This app includes various masks, including dogs, as defaults. You can also make masks yourself. You choose a photo of a face you like, and edit the contour and so on to make a mask.”
“The app tracks facial feature points, like this. It captures the movements of these feature points, in synch with the motion of your mouth and eyebrows. So it can change how your face looks by synthesizing the mask picture accordingly. A feature of this application is that it tracks in real time, even on a smartphone. We think there aren’t many apps that can track facial feature points using just the processing power of a smartphone.”
“This can track your face even if you vary the angle a lot. It even tracks unusual expressions, so it’s fun to make all sorts of expressions with your mouth.”
You can also take a picture of somebody who’s with you, and use that as a mask. The eyes, mouth, and outline in the picture you’ve taken are detected automatically. If the facial feature points are misaligned, you can fine-tune them to make the mask.
Yahoo Japan is considering developing a chat application featuring this ability to make faces anonymous.
“We think Face Stealer could be used to talk easily with your face hidden. For example, a man could join in video chat using a pretty woman’s face. This feature could be used in streaming too, so you could communicate your facial expression on a video broadcast, without having to show your actual face.”