Thursday, October 08, 2009

A Facebook App I don't instinctively loathe?

I've always been of the opinion that Coca-Cola have a damn fine marketing department, and this opinion was just bolstered by the Facebook App that I added to my profile this evening - it's the fourth applications I've added since the feature went live.

Coke Zero's schtick is that it tastes exactly like Coca-Cola, and this app attempts to tie into that by asking If Coke Zero has Coke’s taste… is it possible someone out there has your face? While I don't see the correlation, I still think it's about as clever as a beverage-tie in could be.

Check out the (far spookier than it ought to be) intro to the app:



So basically, the site scans your Facebook profile, finds a few suitable pictures, then asks you to pick three, and provide a 'control' image from your harddrive or webcam [and calling it a 'control' makes it sound so much more sciencey!]. Once the computer has learnt your face, it can tell you of people around the world who look the same as you - so simple, yet so brilliant! It taps into the same sense of curiosity, vanity, and/or narcissism that Hot-Or-Not type websites capture.




The whole thing is relatively painless, even if the interface strains to make things futuristic with some unnecessary bells and whistles and a strange Sci-Fi dystopia soundtrack.

Unfortunately, the end result is a bit of a damp squib:

Click to enlarge

'YOU'VE SUCCESSFULLY JOINED A WORLDWIDE SOCIAL EXPERIMENT' it proclaims, trying to keep your enthusiasm up. "Neat!" you think to yourself. "Now what?" URRRRRRR... GO ANNOY ALL YOUR FRIENDS TO JOIN THIS THING, OTHERWISE YOU'LL HAVE WASTED THE LAST FIVE MINUTES.

It seems that rather than limp along with a small database, they've decided to delay gratification and wait until they get enough images to provide a decent service, which I have no qualms with, as most facial comparison apps I've encountered so far are total ass. That said, the poor yields I've had from facial recognition software so far don't have me entirely excited about how incisive the results will be, if iPhoto's efforts to find every photo I'm in are anything to go by:


Whatever happens, I'm hoping that the subject of Strange-Young-Man's comment yesterday signs up so we can settle the resemblance issue through cold hard algorithms:

Of course, the only fear I have is that this technology could be harnessed for evil - what if my girlfriend manages to locate someone with my incredibly good looks, but who lives on the same continent as her?

Pffft - as if!

1 comment:

Jason said...

I found a pic that looks...slightly...like you. (The similarity is nowhere near as impressive as the picture Strange-young-man found.)

http://img23.imageshack.us/img23/6501/46789765678987.jpg