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An App For A ‘Perfect’ Selfie According to University of Waterloo, Canda

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Computer scientists at the University of Waterloo have developed a smartphone app that helps people learn the art of taking great selfies.

Inside the app is 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 of computer science at Waterloo. “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.

In developing the algorithm, Vogel and Qifan Li, a former Master’s student at Waterloo, bought 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 crowdsourcing 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 per cent improvement in selfies taken with Waterloo’s app.

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

“When it comes to teaching people to take better selfies, the sky’s the limit.

Vogel and Li recently presented the work in Edinburgh, Scotland at the 2017 ACM Conference on Designing Interactive Systems.

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By Joanne Carter

Joanne Carter, creator of the world’s most popular mobile photography and art website— TheAppWhisperer.com— TheAppWhisperer platform has been a pivotal cyberspace for mobile artists of all abilities to learn about, to explore, to celebrate and to share mobile artworks. Joanne’s compassion, inclusivity, and humility are hallmarks in all that she does, and is particularly evident in the platform she has built. In her words, “We all have the potential to remove ourselves from the centre of any circle and to expand a sphere of compassion outward; to include everyone interested in mobile art, ensuring every artist is within reach”, she has said.
Promotion of mobile artists and the art form as a primary medium in today’s art world, has become her life’s focus. She has presented lectures bolstering mobile artists and their art from as far away as the Museum of Art in Seoul, South Korea to closer to her home in the UK at Focus on Imaging. Her experience as a jurist for mobile art competitions includes: Portugal, Canada, US, S Korea, UK and Italy. And her travels pioneering the breadth of mobile art includes key events in: Frankfurt, Naples, Amalfi Coast, Paris, Brazil, London.
Pioneering the world’s first mobile art online gallery - TheAppWhispererPrintSales.com has extended her reach even further, shipping from London, UK to clients in the US, Europe and The Far East to a global group of collectors looking for exclusive art to hang in their homes and offices. The online gallery specialises in prints for discerning collectors of unique, previously unseen signed limited edition art.
Her journey towards becoming The App Whisperer, includes (but is not limited to) working for a paparazzi photo agency for several years and as a deputy editor for a photo print magazine. Her own freelance photographic journalistic work is also widely acclaimed. She has been published extensively both within the UK and the US in national and international titles. These include The Times, The Sunday Times, The Guardian, Popular Photography & Imaging, dpreview, NikonPro, Which? and more recently with the BBC as a Contributor, Columnist at Vogue Italia and Contributing Editor at LensCulture. Her professional photography has also been widely exhibited throughout Europe, including Italy, Portugal and the UK.
She is currently writing several books, all related to mobile art and is always open to requests for new commissions for either writing or photography projects or a combination of both. Please contact her at: joanne@theappwhisperer.com