Facial recognition can help would-be moms find an egg donor who looks like them

For would-be parents who are unable to have children without medical assistance, one possible option is to use an egg donor. This method involves a donor anonymously giving her eggs to an infertile patient to help them give birth. But after undergoing the (sometimes tough) decision to have fertility treatment, hopeful-moms-to-be are faced with a second question: “Will my kid look like me?” Ovobank, a pioneering egg bank in Spain, has a high-tech answer to the conundrum — and it involves using facial recognition to match up patients to similar-looking donors.

“In Spain, where both [in vitro fertilizaation clinic] FIV Marbella and Ovobank are based, egg donation is anonymous, so the patient can’t choose the donor as it is done in some countries,” Dr. Enrique Criado Scholz, general director of the two companies, told Digital Trends. “It is the medical professionals that have the responsibility of finding a donor that matches the patient’s phenotypic characteristics.”

Until now, this process was achieved by looking at the patient’s phenotypical characteristics — referring to their height, hair color, eye color, and skin color. The facial matching part was then a subjective decision made based on the doctor’s choices. What Ovomatch offers instead is a facial-recognition matching algorithm, which allows the patient to find their idea donor by snapping a quick selfie through a mobile app.

“[Our app asks] the patient to take a selfie and [then] scans over 100 facial points, which it will then compare to the donors that already match that patient phenotypically,” Scholz said. “Ovomatch will then come up with the number of donors that not only match the patient’s phenotypic characteristics, but also have a close resemblance to her.”

After this process is carried out, the app sends out two reports: One to the collaborating IVF center so they can begin to program the treatment, and the other to Ovobank so that it can prepare the necessary paperwork related to the egg donation. Finally, Ovobank will get in contact with the collaboration center, and arrange shipment of the eggs.

“This service is already being rolled out internationally,” Scholz said. “It is available for download on both Android and iOS platforms.”

Emerging Tech

‘Rogue medicine in a bathtub’: 4 experts on the vice and virtue of pharma hacking

A biohacker, pharmahacker, and two bioethicists walk into a bar. We ordered them a metaphorical round and had a chat about the risks and rewards of DIY medicine — from unsanctioned gene therapy to medication made on the kitchen counter.
Product Review

Sony's underwhelming XZ2 Premium makes a better camera than a phone

Sony’s third flagship phone of 2018 is its first to ever feature a dual-camera lens. The Sony Xperia XZ2 Premium can capture ultra-low-light video far better than the iPhone X or Galaxy Note 9, but is it worth the high cost?
Mobile

HMD may announce the U.S. release of the Nokia 6.1 Plus next week

It's shaping up to be a big year for HMD. After announcing five phones at MWC earlier this year, the handset manufacturer is reportedly bringing another budget phone, the Nokia 6.1 Plus, to the U.S.
Home Theater

How to buy speakers: A beginner’s guide to home audio

From the difference between bookshelf speakers and monitors to the proper way to audition, our ultimate speaker buying guide has all the information you need to create your own home audio nirvana.
Emerging Tech

Los Angeles subway to become first in the U.S. to use body scanners

Los Angeles is set to become the first city in the U.S. to use body scanners on its subway. The machines are portable and quick to set up, and can check around 2,000 people an hour without causing lines or delays for passengers.
Emerging Tech

Sick of walking everywhere? Here are the best electric skateboards you can buy

Thanks for Kickstarter and Indiegogo, electric skateboards are carving a bigger niche than you might think. Whether you're into speed, mileage, or something a bit more stylish, here are the best electric skateboards on the market.
Emerging Tech

Regular Wi-Fi can accurately detect bombs, chemicals, and weapons in bags

Surveillance cameras and bag searches have become commonplace when it comes to security in public venues. But researchers may have found a different way to detect suspicious items: regular Wi-Fi.
Gaming

How to connect a Nintendo Switch controller to your PC

Nintendo's Switch controllers, including the Joy-Cons and the aptly titled Pro Controller, use Bluetooth, which makes them compatible with your PC. Here's how to start using them for PC gaming.
Emerging Tech

Buying on a budget? Here’s all the best tech you can snag for $25 or less

We live in a world where you can get a cheeseburger for $1, a functioning computer for $5, and thousands of HD movies for $10 -- so it stands to reason that you should be able to pick up some pretty sweet gear for $25.
Emerging Tech

Science says waste beer could help us live on Mars

Scientists at the University of Colorado Boulder have developed a new super-insulating gel, created from beer waste, which could one day be used for building greenhouse-like habitats on Mars.
Emerging Tech

Engineers have made a new type of lithium battery that won’t explode

While statistically rare, the lithium-ion batteries used in mobile devices have been known to burst into flames. Researchers from University of Michigan have been working to change that.
Emerging Tech

Genetically engineered bacteria paint microscopic masterpieces

By engineering E. coli bacteria to respond to light, scientists at the University of Rome have guided it like tiny drones toward patterns that depict Leonardo da Vinci’s masterpiece, the Mona Lisa.
Emerging Tech

Elon Musk’s Boring Company wants to dig a tunnel to Dodger Stadium

Elon Musk's Boring Company wants to build a high-speed transportation tunnel connecting Dodger Stadium to a nearby Metro station. The system would run 150-mph passenger pods between the stadium and a terminus to the west.
Emerging Tech

Watch as a ‘lifeguard drone’ rescues a swimmer struggling at sea

These days, drones are finding a range of roles in a myriad of fields. Lifeguards, for example, are making use of the drone's ability to quickly deploy flotation devices while also offering an eye in the sky to survey the scene.