Blippar debuts AR face profiles with bubble halos

Cue the Beyonce. Augmented reality (AR) and computer vision startup Blippar has launched AR face profiles it calls Halos – and which it claims “[bring] facial recognition technology into the mainstream”.

The new in-app feature allows users to customize AR face profiles with interactive bubbles surrounding their heads featuring content like mood, aura, celebrity lookalikes, photos, Spotify songs, tweets and YouTube videos.

In a blog post, Blippar says Halos give users the freedom to “express your inner self to the world in a unique way. Choose to celebrate the things you love, let the world know how you’re feeling, share your tune of the moment, identify your celebrity lookalike and so much more.”

Users can also choose to make their faces blippable, or scannable, and to connect with other users. However, Halo users must opt in to be discoverable and they must be at least 16 years old.

"Through Halos…we are making the face accessible in digital format for the first time, providing an innovative and dynamic way of expressing ourselves and discovering more about those around you,” said Blippar chief executive Ambarish Mitra in a statement. “The technology lends itself to many other forms of implementation and we are delighted to be able to share our APIs and technology with other companies who, like us, are committed to spurring on innovation in their own industries."

Blippar says this builds on its existing real-time facial recognition capabilities, which have over 99.67% accuracy. Introduced in December 2016, the app can recognize 370,000 public figures.