Researchers Develop App That Helps Take the Perfect Selfie

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Researchers Develop App That Helps Take the Perfect Selfie
Highlights
  • App has an algorithm that directs where to position the camera
  • Researchers took hundreds of "virtual selfies" by writing code
  • They found 26 percent improvement in selfies taken with the app

Scientists have developed a new smartphone app that will help people to learn the art of taking perfect selfies.

The app is integrated with an algorithm that directs the user where to position the camera, allowing them to take the best shot possible.

"Selfie's have increasingly become a normal way for people to express themselves and their experiences, only not all selfies are created equal," said Dan Vogel, a professor at the University of Waterloo in Canada.

"Unlike other apps that enhance a photo after you take it, this system gives direction, meaning the user is actually learning why their photo will be better," said Vogel.

In developing the algorithm, Vogel and Qifan Li, a former Master's student at Waterloo, used three dimensional (3D) digital scans of "average" looking people.

They took hundreds of "virtual selfies" by writing code to control a virtual smartphone camera and computer-generated lighting which allowed them to explore different composition principles, including lighting direction, face position and face size.

Using an online crowd-sourcing service, the researchers had thousands of people vote on which of the virtual selfie photos they felt were best, and then mathematically modelled the patterns of votes to develop an algorithm that can guide people to take the best selfie.

They later had real people take selfies with a standard camera app, and an app powered by the algorithm. Based on more online ratings, they found a 26 percent improvement in selfies taken with the new app.

"This is just the beginning of what is possible. We can expand the variables to include variables aspects such as hairstyle, types of smile or even the outfit you wear," said Vogel.

"When it comes to teaching people to take better selfies, the sky's the limit," he said.

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