Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Android FaceDetection

How could a book application interact with facial detection?

If Harry Potter has taught me anything, it is that any book can conceal a rotten core of evil, or a path to enlightenment. And yes, your typical book will not communicate by talking, or bleeding...
On the other hand, I've been experimenting with the FaceDetection capabilities which Android ICS introduced. A front facing camera can take a snapshot, say, each time you advance a page while you are reading. FaceDetection can do several things; for instance, count faces, track eyes and mouthes to see who is smiling, and register when a reader is new.

So the book can recognize the audience, as a proxy for the author. Consider this: as you are reading a book, it could refuse to go to the next page until you shared the text with another set of eyes. Perhaps more useful, a book app could track progress for a number of readers, based on their faces.
Wheels within wheels - well we're at it, the more I work with Firefox OS and Gaia, the more I want to use it as a platform to build a more interactive ePub reader, leveraging the Web Activity model. See below. Think books which can talk to each other using Web Activity sharing.

The thing is, FacialDetection may be easily fooled by a photograph... Might not be as secure as exchanging secure tokens, but once an application has authenticated that token, it can remain authenticated until the status of the detected face or faces changes, based on periodic snapshots.

Once authenticated with a single face, an app could drop authentication when this face goes away or a face is added. As long as your face is associated with a secure token, and your face does not change, this should be satisfactory to maintain authentication.

What are some ways a book app could interact differently if it could recognize its audience?

Tom Riddle me this.