As (presumably) living, breathing humans, we can't not spend exorbitant amounts of time wondering about the future. Will I have kids? Will I be dead? Will I finally get my goddamn hoverboard? All valid questions! And while Orange's new site, Future Self, might not answer all (or any) of them, it does attempt to at least give you a taste of one, equally desirable bit of knowledge: What you'll look like 20 years from today.
Using facial recognition software, the British telecom company's new project ages you approximately 20 years and then process to let you interact with your purported future self. You can ask yourself questions about your kids-to-be, any new interests, socio-economic status, etc. All of its answers are based on, well, absolutely nothing having to do with you. But the responses are at least based on likely future trends.
All of which is great fun, sure, but does the thing actually work? Well, you tell us.
The site appears to fair a little better with men than women. The male staffers who tested it out managed to get results that at least resembled them. The female's results all sort of just resembled each other more than their actual person of origin.
Still, this is admittedly a wildly difficult project to undertake. And Jam3, the digital firm that helped Orange build the site, put quite a bit of work into what they were spitting out. As Adrian Belina, Partner and Creative Director at Jam 3 told FastCo:
The technology behind the site reaches a whole other level of difficulty and innovation. Creatively our biggest challenge was to move beyond the typical "face in the hole" ("Elf Yourself")-type site where the end result is a flat photo that's been 'puppet-ed' South Park style. To achieve a realistic look, we modeled a true-to-human face, head and shoulders that would work in WebGL, used a facial motion capture software (that is generally only used by video game studios) to record the life like responses, scanned and analyzed someone's face over webcam, and then went on to apply dynamic light and texture.
You can head on over to the Future Self website to see how your on face fares the test of time. From what we've seen so far, though, it looks like the majority of us are in for a rough 20 years.