Developer: Profiler-One Diagnosis & Consultation Ltd
Price: $2.99 Download on the App Store
Facial recognition software for iPhone might seem like a stretch, but that’s what Profiler-One would have you believe is incorporated into their face reading app. The Face Reader is apparently based on research and statistical mumbo jumbo, collected over years of research on thousands of faces. Keeping in mind that many iPhone apps hinting at performing paranormal, psychic, or futuristic tasks are for entertainment purposes only, I didn’t buy into the “realism” of The Face Reader while testing it out. Instead, I was looking for entertainment value, which frankly was a bit difficult to unearth.
The Face Reader uses photos taken with iPhone’s camera to “analyze” and then gives a full report, including facial symmetry, characteristics and personality traits. It has multiple language settings for global compatibility and it stores photos you’ve previously analyzed.
The Face Reader is supposed to generate a report that is both humorous and accurate. As far as humor goes, it has its moments, but many of the quips are insults that border on offensive, so use caution if you’re analyzing your mother. As for the accuracy, well, it reminds me of the blind squirrel and the nut adage – it gets lucky once awhile, but 97% accurate it is not.
The characteristic and personality traits supposedly determined with The Face Reader include stubbornness, intelligence, self-confidence, loyalty, and so on. It is supposed to allow you to designate the birthdate, gender and relationship of each person you analyze, but the response patterns are apparently limited. A person’s photo designated as “my buddy,” “my sibling,” or “other” comes back with personality descriptions that start out with “your partner...” and no matter what the age of the person in the photo, it assumes they have the ability to drink and hit up the bars. Clearly The Face Reader has been designed for entertainment, but for what crowd? It implies that a person born in 1973 is old, a person born in 1996 drinks too much, and that “my buddy” is the same as “my partner.” Not to mention, every single face I’ve scanned has 85% symmetry – not 84% or 86%, but always 85%.
Bottom line, The Face Reader could be fun at parties and office shindigs, but the design simply doesn’t make the distinction between intelligent and borderline crude humor and doesn’t allow enough flexibility in choosing subjects and receiving appropriate responses.
If you’re not easily offended and you’re not bothered by reading bizarre remarks about people out loud, then The Face Reader might be a fun entertainment app for you. I would start off with the Lite version, which only generates a report with three characteristics but is free. The $2.99 for the full version is simply not on par with the entertainment derived, especially since repetition comes early. Still, if you don’t read too much into it, The Face Reader could provide moments here and there for some users.