Stitched Across Your Face
Over the last decade, facial recognition technology has risen in the ranks of modern tech that is just too cool for school. While it has always been an idea littered across science fiction, that idea is beginning to take root in some of the more "usable" technologies available to us. From Kinect, to face.com, facial recognition is quickly becoming less, sweet CG feature and more, applicable life tech.
Just Some Dude In His Living Room
Hacker Dale Lane has taken a special interest in facial recognition over the last couple of years, and he recently decided that he was going to put that interest into experimental reality. This father of two little girls decided that he was going to mount a web cam on top of his TV and take pictures every fifteen minutes, no matter what activity he was doing. He then took the pictures he had and uploaded them to face.com, a facial recognition site, to see what emotions he showed during said activities. He gamed, he watched TV, he played with his daughters, he worked, and he charted it all for our viewing pleasure.
Whether Dale thought this was going to turn into the mini web sensation that it has or not, his experiment has sparked some serious conversation in the development community. Some have stated that they believe this type of information could revolutionize the way the media industry develops its programming, some have said they believe it is an invasion of privacy, all have agreed that is a much larger idea than he gives it credit for.
A True Revolutionary
I don't think that Dale is the first one to imagine this application of facial recognition, though he may be the first to put it to this kind of use, and he certainly may be the man who causes it to be taken more seriously. When I think of the future implications of this, I feel both frightened and excited at the possibilities. Imagine a world where you get instant feedback on both what you and those you interact with are feeling. Imagine the impact something like that would have on human interaction as a whole!
The health industry would be forever changed if this tech was to be put forth. There would be no more lying to doctors about health history, there would be an instant recognition of what techniques work for somebody as opposed to the guessing game that exists today.
But, for now, we sit mired in the knowledge that we can only wait for these technologies that could evolve the human condition to be invented by those scary folks in high security prisons...oops, I mean offices.