Experiments

A local agency needed a quick mobile web prototype that would use face detection of a selfie as an age-gate. In other words, rather than requiring users to enter their birthday, they could instead access their camera, take a photo, and if the user appears to be over a certain age, permit them to proceed into the site.

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The Problem

The biggest challenge here was timing. We had about a day and a half to create this custom mobile web app prototype. We also knew that there were going to be many different variables with taking (or uploading) a user’s photo and to try to be as exhaustive with QA as possible in the time allotted.

Our Solution

We knew of the viral hit, how-old.net and looked further into the technology that powered it. We quickly found Microsoft Cognitive Services’ Face API was the way to go. Using this API, we instantly had many features at our disposal including facial detection and estimations of age, gender, smile intensity, head pose, facial hair and glasses detection.

We also built in logic to ensure that if multiple people were in the photo, both must be under the age limit set, otherwise, the users would be denied access. We built this app prototype using Node, Express, and Bootstrap.

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