Facetopo is an independent citizen science project based in Boston, MA, USA.
The Facetopo project was conceived of in 2014 by the husband and wife team of Murray Robinson, Ph.D. and Alberta Chu. Dr. Robinson is a molecular biologist and genomics expert. Formerly a biologist, Alberta Chu is an interdisciplinary innovator, arts entrepreneur, documentary filmmaker, and digital content creator.
Like many in today's social media-driven selfie culture, Dr. Robinson and Ms. Chu shared a fascination with faces. With their scientific backgrounds, they thought to apply a scientific approach to empower people to learn more about faces.
Together they conceived of the Facetopo project as a global citizen science project to study diverse human adult faces: all the faces would be crowdsourced via a mobile app from people who wanted to a global science project and learn about faces.
Ms. Chu set out to put together a team of engineers and designers to implement this vision. A friend in Boston with expertise in email security and databases worked closely with a frontend engineer to develop a secure app that would enable Users to create a private and secure account, and create an accurate 3D facemap. A video game developer in Spain with deep knowledge of machine learning, 3D environments, and computer vision built the mobile app.
In March 2016, the Facetopo app dropped in the itunes App store, followed by an Android version in the Googleplay store a few weeks later. In 2017, the Facetopo team expanded to include a UX designer to streamline the app's User Experience and improve facemap accuracy.
To date, the Facetopo app is working with over 6000 sets of 3D face data and we can share fun facestats with our community. The first version of the Facetopo app with these eagerly-anticipated Facestats features is currently in development, with a planned release in mid-April 2020.