Thanks to Face Maker, a new app for the iPhone X, children everywhere can now avoid the trauma of face painting.
Okay, maybe that needs some context. When I was in kindergarten, I had my face painted as part of an arts and crafts day at school. When my dad saw the results, he laughed heartily at me. Embarrassed, I went to the bathroom to wash the paint off, and my dad got mad at me for the stained towel that resulted.
Had the iPhone X existed back then, I could have just virtually painted my front-facing camera view of my face on the touchscreen. Face Maker offers highly-accurate face tracking thanks to the TrueDepth camera of the iPhone X. Users have a wide palette of colors and multiple brush sizes with which to work.
And, if you don't like the look, you can use the erase function (or just look away from the phone) without having to ruin another nice hand towel.
The app also enables users to go beyond virtual face painting. A mesh mode displays the raw 3D mesh of the user's face, and another mode allows you to paste photos on your face to add creative textures, or copy other faces to pull off 3D face swaps. Another special effect molds multi-colored particles to your face which pulse with music.
We've seen numerous experiments from developers using the TrueDepth camera, but actual apps have been fewer in quantity. Considering the popularity of camera effects from Snapchat and Facebook, the technology seems like low-hanging fruit just waiting for even more developers to capitalize on the public's propensity to make themselves look silly.