Software programs that help you see how a different hairstyle or hair color can change your appearance are nothing new. A system that can show a picture of you in a different time period, country or at a different age, is #softwaremagic
Dreambit was created at the University of Washington as a way to discover how your appearance would have changed if your life conditions were different. After uploading one of your photos and typing a search term like “straight hair” or “1940s”, the algorithm mines through Internet picture collections until they discover ones with people similar to you and seamlessly maps your face onto the results.
This could deliver hours of fun to users like me and you. For authorities, it could do so much more. Imagine the odds of finding a missing child years later, by simply applying these filters. You could see how she/he has aged, how would they look like with a different haircut and color.
This ability to combine two pictures into a believable one exists thanks to a combination of algorithms that Kemelmacher-Shlizerman, co-leader of UW Graphics and Imaging Laboratory (GRAIL), assembled, as well as the huge amount of photos available on the internet.
“The key idea is to find a doppelgänger set — people who look similar enough to you that you can copy certain elements of their appearance,” said the co-leader. “And because the system has hundreds of thousands of photos to choose from, the matching results are spellbinding.”