Blippar, the AR (augmented reality) startup aiming to build a visual catalog of every object in the world, has added real-time facial recognition technology to its mobile app, allowing users to create "Augmented Reality Face Profiles."
The new technology enables users to scan or "Blipp" faces — either in-person, or a printed photo, or television — through their smartphone cameras to unlock a "unique augmented reality experience for people who have a recognized face profile" the company said in a press release.
The feature will only unlock a profile if the face being scanned belongs to a person with an existing AR profile. The company says it has also created profiles for over 70,000 public figures for the launch. Users will eventually be able to set up their own profile via the app's selfie mode, although that hasn't launched yet.
"A recent update to the Blippar app allows people to recognize/'blipp' many public figures from today onwards," Blippar said in a statement. "A very exciting feature for users to create their own face profile in augmented reality will also be launching very soon."
Each user's face profile shows an "augmented reality" halo (which looks like widgets) surrounding their head. The five points of the halo represent links to more information on the user's profile, such as their "AR mood and aura," photos, favourite music, and a "celebrity look-alike" feature.
Users can set their face profiles to public or private.
The new technology follows the launch of "Blipparsphere" earlier this year — a visual browser that uses machine learning to recognise real-world objects. Ambarish Mitra, co-founder & CEO at Blippar said in a statement:
“Augmented Reality Face Profiles will change the way we communicate and express ourselves. Our face is our most expressive form of communication and with this release we are allowing this to become digital for the first time. Our facial recognition technology combined with our knowledge graph enables people to express themselves through the things they love, including their hobbies, opinions, key fun facts, and so much more. This is a new, unique and fun way of showing who you are and of learning more about others.”