People love to use their smartphone cameras to see a different take on their appearance, as evidenced by the popularity of the likes of FaceApp and SnapChat’s various animated lenses. Now, Microsoft is getting in on the fun with a new app called Face Swap.
Face Swap is all about inserting the user’s face into an existing image without the need for any manual editing. The results are often quite silly, but the technology underpinning the app is actually rather advanced, bringing together the power of Bing image search with facial recognition technology developed by Microsoft Research.
To get started, users simply need to take a selfie, or choose a photograph of themselves from the image library on their phone. They’re then prompted to perform a Bing image search to find an image that they want to insert themselves into, swapping out the subject’s face for their own.
The app is sophisticated enough to tailor the user’s image so that it can be integrated into any scene. It can make subtle changes to things like lighting and skin tone, with the latter functionality even working on nonhuman pigments like the stony complexion of a statue.
Face Swap is the latest project to come from Microsoft Garage, according to a report from Android Police. The Garage is a program that allows employees to work on projects that aren’t related to their primary role in the company, which is housed in Bill Gates’ old office at its campus headquarters in Redmond, Washington.
The app was apparently developed from concept to release in just five months, by a group largely comprising members of the Bing team. There are apparently plans to provide extended support, including several new features set to be rolled out to the app over the coming months.
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