The Google Allo app has taken inspiration from Snapchat’s Bitmoji by transforming your selfie into personalized stickers.
Take a photo of yourself on the app and it will match your selfie to a range of artist illustrations that have been designed to represent a variety of features. With human raters, your selfie will be accurately matched with photos and illustrations chosen by the software. At present, this is only available on Android but it will roll out on iOS “soon.”
Jennifer Daniel, the creative director of the app, commented on the difficulty in accounting for the different environments in which people take selfies:
“The traditional computer vision approach to mapping selfies to art would be to analyze the pixels of an image and algorithmically determine attribute values by looking at pixel values to measure color, shape, or texture. However, people today take selfies in all types of lighting conditions and poses. And while people can easily pick out and recognize qualitative features, like eye color, regardless of the lighting condition, this is a very complex task for computers. When people look at eye color, they don’t just interpret the pixel values of blue or green, but take into account the surrounding visual context.”
The feature has been worked on by engineers who used Google’s existing general-purpose computer vision technology. They have worked with a team of illustrators who have designed face shapes and hairstyles that could match the selfies.