The website how-old.net can take any picture of a person you upload and estimate the person’s age. I uploaded two different photos of myself, taken 6 years apart, and it correctly guessed my age both times. Try it yourself – it’s free.
What is also amazing about this technology is that 2 developers put it together in 1 day. And then when they emailed a couple hundred people hoping to get 50 people to try it, they got over 35,000 different users within 24 hours.
Facebook claims their facial recognition technology is 97%, and of course, it is only getting better.
Imagine walking into a clothing retailer. Security cameras grab an image of your face. They scan their database for your previous purchases. They search Facebook and Instagram to see what clothing you wear, colors you like, activities you prefer, and what your closest friends wear. By the time a salesperson approaches, their tablet is full of information on products to suggest, colors to highlight, and price points to emphasize.
Visit a car dealership. They will know your marital status, age, number of kids, the cars you own now and your previous rides. They know the colors, styles, and brands in your history. Whether you buy new or used, lease or purchase. It will probably even know what you have been looking at on-line. They say you only have 7 seconds to make a first impression – this data will help that sales person say exactly the right thing.
Creepy! But powerful.
How long will it be before facial recognition is used for skip-tracing? A collection agency can do it manually now. I have to believe that within 10 years the major skip tracing services will be incorporating facial recognition technology to scan the internet for more information about people. This data could easily help identify where people work when they show up in company event photos. Will pictures outside your residence identify where you live?
Frankly, I wish we were not headed down this path of it being so simple for someone to know everything about you, but I don’t see how we can keep that from happening.
For now, I’m just having a little bit of fun with How Old.net. It’s a great conversation piece at bar or with your friends. When it guesses younger, you will be amazed at how happy it makes people. And just blame the lighting when the age guesses older than reality.