Facetopo had an amazing year in 2017! We are thankful for all of our growth, new community members, collaborators, and partnerships! Thanks to all who joined in and participated!

    In 2017, we implemented big improvements in the Facetopo app. We methodically attacked each painpoint in 1.4 and released version 2.0 with fully automated 3D facial mapping, a much-improved (and slightly gamified) Capture UI, and selfie sharing.

    We completed our version 2.0 betatesting of Facetopo app with the support of our betatesters and fellow co-workers at Workbar. We analyzed the 3D face data from 40 testers and were quite pleased with the results, which we published in an informal poster presentation "Initial Quantitation of 3D Facial Features From Volunteer Facetopo Testers: The Facetopo Citizen Science Project."

    The poster was shared at the Facetopo booth at AAAS (American Association for the Advancement of Science) at Family Science Days. As part of our AAAS outreach, we released version 2.14 of the Facetopo app with the new Fun Selfies feature which was a big hit at the event.

    In March, Facetopo participated in CIC (Cambridge Innovation Center) Venture Cafe - Female Founders Night by demoing our app and sharing about its potential to the tech startup community.

    Later in the spring, Facetopo engineers build a machine learning tool to increase the resolution of our facial-mapping software so we could upgrade our facial mapping technology over the summer. Each Capture now yields 2500+ data points per face.

    In August as part of Twinsfest, we launched a call for twins for a Facetopo study and we look forward to beginning that study in 2018

    In October we were thrilled to participate in Hubweek 2017, Boston's festival of art, technology, and innovation. Our Facetopo popup: Faces of Boston (in partnership with artists Kate True, Gulnara Niaz Photography, Emily Gallardo, and Blackbird Doughnuts) was a huge success! Our tricked-out selfies for science photobooth, mirrored shipping container, portrait gallery, and Blackbird Doughnut giveaways at Boston's City Hall Plaza drew hundreds of curious visitors.

    We are finishing out 2017 with a wonderful interview by Heidi Legg published in the (Dec. 21, 2017) READ IT HERE and (Nov. 11, 2017) READ IT  HERE

    Exciting updates and features are ahead for Facetopo Users in 2018! We are developing and planning: Facematching, Leadership Quotients and more. Tell your friends about Facetopo! Thank you for your support. #facetopoelfiesforscience #itsinyourface



    As the leaves have finally started turning and it’s getting cold enough to break out our cozy sweaters, we look ahead to the holiday season. FaceTopo is especially excited, not just because of the delicious food and gathering of loved ones, but because the holiday season, starting with Thanksgiving, is a great opportunity for a citizen science experiment!

    Family gatherings are a great opportunity for FaceTopo to collect facial data and study faces within families. Why do some siblings look very obviously similar while others you would never guess are related? Having FaceTopos from blood relatives will help us study what it is about facial features that signify family relationships. One’s facial topography may also be able to help us connect facial traits and ancestral roots. People who come from certain areas of the world tend to have commonalities in their facial features that might have become less obvious over generations. Having data from multiple relatives could make it possible to discover something new about your family! 

    Finally, we are working to reach our goal of 10,000 users! FaceTopo-ing as a family this holiday season is a great way to help the entire Facetopo community! The more data we have to work with, the more we can discover—and the more you and your family can discover about yourselves too.

    Just remember, every User needs to create their own Facetopo User account, and we need to keep it to adult faces for now (ages 14 and up).




    Becoming a citizen scientist is a lot easier than you thought!

    As you may have heard, FaceTopo v2.6 is now LIVE in the iTunes and Googleplay stores! Making a FaceTopo is even faster now - it only takes a minute or two. We’ve also added improved accuracy through higher-resolution face maps. We hope this will incentivize as many people as possible to join in on our global science project.


    If you’ve previously tried FaceTopo, definitely update to this latest version! We have made myriad improvements to the Setup and Capture Instructions and now the facemapping is 100% automatic. (Dragging and adjusting nodes to match your facial features is ancient history!) Plus we have a new and fun photostrip feature we think you’ll enjoy. Don’t forget: it takes at least 2 Facetopo captures to most accurately map your face!

    Some tips for getting the most accurate FaceTopo capture possible: remove glasses, refrain from talking during capture (and keep a neutral facial expression), and try to position yourself somewhere that has even lighting. Harsh and uneven lighting can make facial features appear distorted on camera.

    Even though 2.6 just dropped last week, we’re already at work developing versions 2.7-3.0. This will include a highly-anticipated facematch feature that we're really excited about. In the coming months, we’ll be updating our blog here more regularly. Face-mapping and facial recognition have been receiving more attention lately, and we want to offer our take on it. On the blog you’ll also be able to keep up with the latest developments to the app, new version release dates, and much more.

    Thank you for being a part of this exciting journey of discovery with Facetopo!



    Just last week, The HUB at City Hall Plaza showcased a huge range of Boston’s diverse innovation culture, from MIT, to art collectives, and tech startups. Facetopo was super-excited to participate in such a phenomenal event with such great company! Some of our favorite containers were MIT’s Robot Party and Now+There’s Slideshow, Castledrone’s edgy art installation, and of course #NeonDreams.

    The Facetopo crew got down to business early Sunday morning, transforming our Faces of Boston Popup container into a mirrored space. We designed our Selfies for Science photo booth for visitors to take the ultimate selfies, with even lighting on the face while the phone is placed flat on the wall for Facetopo captures. 

    Citizen Scientists who installed the Facetopo iOS app (or Facetopo for Android version) and made #selfiesforcience at Hubweek received photostrip souvenirs and also a chance to win Blackbird Doughnuts giveaways we raffled off all day long. Congrats to all of the lucky winners of our Blackbird Doughnuts giftcards!

    Faces of Boston featured a Portrait Gallery featuring the work of photographer Gulnara Niaz and artists Kate True and Emily Gallardo; their portrait work was admired by all throughout the day. Visitors were able to commission walnut ink portraits from life painted by artist Kate True. Many visitors received discount coupons for portrait photography from Gulnara Niaz Photography for future use. Emily Gallardo’s portrait embroidery kits were a wonderful addition to the afternoon.

    We, along with all of our wonderful partners and volunteers, had a great time bringing science and art together for the public at Hubweek 2017! Thanks to all who stopped by!!

    In case you couldn't make it, you can still jump in and join the Facetopo community. Just install the app (FREE!) iTunes App Store or Android version in Google Play, create your own private account, and make your private 3D facemap accessible only to you.





    Hubweek hit a home run this year with the HUB on City Hall Plaza! Seemingly overnight, Boston’s Government Center plaza was completely transformed into a glittering futuristic stage. Featuring several domes (sites of the Boston Globe, Future Forum, and Silent Disco) and with over 80 shipping containers - it was the best Hubweek ever!

    Earlier in the week, v. 2.6 of the Facetopo app dropped in the iTunes app store - with a new photostrip feature that we developed for our Selfies for Science Photobooth at Hubweek! After making a Facetopo Capture with a neutral expression, Users can now tap the Photostrip button and take 3 silly selfies - one just you, one with facemapping dots placed on it, and the third with a fun filter (choose nerdy or einstein, citizen scientist!) At Hubweek we added new photostrips to our growing Wall of Faces throughout the day.

    Hundreds of new visitors learned more about our ambitious global citizen science project at Faces of Boston at Hubweek. We had conversations about data science, finding doppelgangers, facial recognition, privacy, and the soon-to-be-released Apple iphone facial unlock feature. At Facetopo, we take great care to preserve User privacy. In order to create a Facetopo 3D facemap, every User creates a unique password-protected account using only an email. Only YOU can access your Facetopo data. Information doesn’t get any more personal than your face, so Facetopo keeps your face data as secure as your bank account.

    Finding one’s ‘face family’ or doppelganger was a popular idea among the Hubweek crowd. We plan to introduce a Facematch feature before the end of the year. What are the chances you’ll find your doppelganger? It all depends on how many people join the community, so please spread the word about Facetopo! 

    We estimate around a thousand visitors to our Faces of Boston popup at Hubweek in Boston on 10/15! It was great to have so many new citizen scientists join the Facetopo community. And since portraits were the original #selfies, it was great to be joined by portrait artists Kate True, Gulnara Niaz, and Emily Gallardo to highlight the connections among science, art, and technology! 

    Thanks to all who came by Facetopo’s Faces of Boston at the HUB!! Thank you Hubweek! Thank you to our amazingly talented event partners: Gulnara Niaz Photography, Kate True Portraits, Emily Gallardo and a big thanks to Blackbird Doughnuts for sponsoring our giveaways!

    If you weren’t able to make it to Hubweek, we do plan on holding more popup events in the future!

    Android Users: 2.6 is now available in the Googleplay store as well - check it out!



    Since 2014, the best and brightest in science, technology and the arts in Boston have come together to celebrate Hubweek, a weeklong festival sponsored by The Boston Globe, MIT, Harvard and Massachusetts General Hospital.

    This year, City Hall Plaza will be transformed into the Hub — a one-of-a-kind “container city” for technologists, artists, innovators, and creators to gather, and for anyone and everyone to experience their incredible work. We are excited that our Facetopo Popup “Faces of Boston” will be a part of the HUB this year! The HUB is completely free, and you can reserve a spot by registering here.

    Faces of Boston will be a Popup at the Hub for one day only — Sunday, October 15th from 10AM - 5PM. See if you can find our funhouse of mirrors and lights (container #26 on the steps of Government Center near the tree promenade). We’ve been busy putting together a fun and interactive container where you can stop by and try out our Selfies for Science Photobooth, add your photostrip to our ever-growing Wall of Faces, enjoy our Portrait Salon art installation, and learn more about what we’re up to at FaceTopo. We’ll also have giveaways from everyone's favorite Blackbird Doughnuts throughout the day for new Facetopo community members!

    Selfies are definitely the most contemporary form of portrait, but artists have been depicting faces for centuries. The Faces of Boston Portrait Salon will feature portraits by artist Kate True, photographer Gulnara Niaz, and embroidered portraits by artist Emily Gallardo.

    We’ll have special guests at the Faces of Boston Popup: Boston-based artist Kate True, Photographer and Facetopo Spokesmodel Gulnara Niaz, and South End Artist Emily Gallardo. Kate will be painting ink portraits from life (by commission: $50) in the afternoon. Emily will sell her portrait embroidery kits. Gulnara Niaz will offer a discount on professional photography in studio: personal branding, portrait couture. RSVP to our Facebook Event to keep up to date on the day’s schedule of events at the Faces of Boston Popup!

    There will be 80 containers in all at the HUB - see if you can find Faces of Boston! We may be tricky to spot, as our container will be covered in mirrors. Look for the silver ball balloons, or just wander around until you see a reflection of yourself - who doesn’t like to do a quick selfie-check in the mirror after all?

    Don’t miss the fun at Faces of Boston at Hubweek's Hub! Join us and become a citizen scientist for a day!




    Spring brings growth! In Facetopo v. 2.11 (Android v. 2.14) usability and reproducibility are hugely improved, bringing us that much closer our goal of 10K accurate facetopos -- and our first Facetree analysis!

    Facetopo 2.0 is full of new features. With the original Facetopo 1.0 that released last March, we got the basics down: account creation, User instructions, and data sending. Those are really the only things that we kept. Everything else is different in 2.0.

    A simple and minimal UX is the key to reproducibility, and reproducibility means accuracy! We've worked to massively simplify our User experience. Many lessons learned from 1.0 that make 2.0 so much better:

    • Users don't have the patience for placing facial landmarks manually by hand. So we made the magic happen in 2.0: facial landmark placement is fully automatic. 

    • We got rid of the Gizmo adjuster and replaced it with a little game that tells you to look forward while your face is being mapped, and to carefully adjust your face to place the dot inside the ring (the dot follows the movement of the tip of your nose) - much more intuitive. You’re welcome ;)

    • 1.0 Users told us it was hard to know if their face was in full profile for the side shot -- so we did away with that too. In 2.0 the User only needs to turn their face slightly from side-to-side (like shaking ‘no’ very carefully). Play the little minigame (again, the dot follows the tip of your nose) by rotating your face left-right-left-etc. to get the dot inside the ring. It’s easy -- but for best results you must keep your head still and only turn your face. Got it?

    • Some of our 1.0 Users were really pissed off (!!) when they didn’t receive anything after completing a Facetopo. For 2.0 we developed a new “Fun Selfie” feature. After you’re done with the serious scientific business of creating an accurate facetopo 3D facemap (without smiling or talking!) you get to make a silly face, put a filter on it, and save or share it. We provide four filter options: 1) silly me, 2) dot map, 3) ‘mad’ scientist, and 4) ‘nerdy.’ Tell us which ones you like best and submit your ideas for new ones - we’ve got more fun selfie filters on the way!

    • A brand-new feature in v. 2.0 is your facial symmetry score. How does yours compare with your friend's? In the next version we're planning more fun with this feature. Stay tuned!

    So, if you’re on board, and you’ve done Facetopo 1.0 we need you to get with the program and RECAPTURE with the *new* and *improved* Facetopo 2.0!! Check out our new pink hair!!

    Since we need millions of faces to make Facetopo the big data project it truly needs to be, we need your help spreading the word! Please share your fun selfies and get your friends to do it too!  



    Ruh-roh! Facetopo 2.0 was buggy! Apologies to our Alphatesters and a big THANK YOU for helping us figure it out. Tester feedback is such a huge and important part of app development.

    The good news is, based on your excellent user feedback, our engineers were able to debug it and we're happy to announce that and it's working now! Facetopo 2.14 has dropped and we're pushing to Open Betatesting in the Googleplay store today.

    Check it out and submit your Betatester feedback via googleplay.