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Internet Appearances: What Next, Smello-vision?

April 22, 2010

Here is something else to worry about on the internet: Your appearance.

Blogging on the Harvard Business Review website, Michael Schrage, a research fellow at MIT, recounts how he was video conferencing with a client when he caught a glimpse of his reflection.

As I videochatted with the immaculately groomed and well-dressed bizdev guy, my stubbly onscreen image irritated and distracted me. Is that what I look like? Perhaps I should stick to the phone…

Although it may sound trivial or vain, Schrage has a point. With faster broadband, a business emphasis on cost reduction, video-conferencing is likely to become more common. And up until this point, people probably have not given the same thought to their appearance as they would a face-to-face meeting. Again, it may sound trivial, but Schrage wonders if there will now be a market for video-enhancement plug-ins that will give you the equivalent of a nip-tuck or even a light airbrushing.

It sounds plausible. My own cheap webcam has a facial-tracking feature and Google’s Picassa even has facial recognition. Anyone familiar with software like the Gimp or Photoshop will know about the droplet tool that applies a uniform colour to selected areas. And photographers are well used to the effects extra lighting or exposure can have on skin.

In the meantime, I spent almost 30 seconds enhancing my own image. I hope you enjoy it.

One Comment leave one →
  1. michael schrage permalink
    April 23, 2010 8:35 pm

    I’m pleased my post could inspire both a blog & an experiment in image enhancement


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