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.



    Exciting news: Facetopo v. 2.0 is live in the iTunes appstore. We're super excited about this new version. It's a major update! 

    We've upgraded the placement of facial landmarks and it's 100% automated now, and much more accurate, in addition to being more user-friendly.

    We ask that all Users do 4 captures with this new version 2.0 of the app to be included in our first global 'face tree' to be created when we have enough data (10K Users). While the Facetopo app is able to capture children, our focus now for the study is the adult face, age 14+.

    Once we have our first 'face tree' the fun begins. Our first Users will be able to see where their face fits in the branches of the world 'face tree'. Users will be able to access custom analytics for facial similarity, facial features, and facial symmetry. Eventually, Users will be able to create family 'face trees' and compare the faces in their family.

    New in v. 2.0 is a new 'fun selfie' feature with science-themed filters. When you make your fourth capture, you unlock a sharing feature as well as 2 'fun selfie' filters. These 'fun selfies' are just a start, we're already working on more. 

    Try out the new app (it's still free!) and tell your friends!




    Our Facetopo poster presentation was a hit! Here Facetopo team members Dave Strickler and Murray Robinson, explain the details to model Gulnara Niaz and a festival participant.

    Then this happened:

    Sometimes the stars just align. After all of our hard work, Facetopo’s new 2.0 release went live in the iTunes store just in time for the annual AAAS Meeting! The AAAS Annual Meeting offers an exciting, interdisciplinary blend of more than 150 symposia and lectures, specialized seminars, poster sessions, and an international Exhibit Hall, including Family Science Days, which Facetopo participated in for the first time ever!


    The AAAS Annual Meeting is a global science gathering, bringing together thousands of scientists, engineers, policymakers, educators, and journalists to discuss the most recent developments in science and technology. Our new Users seemed to like the improved and simpler User experience we've been developing.

    Facetopo’s new fun selfie feature is working (yay!) and was a popular attraction for kids and families at Family Science Days. While Facetopo is primarily interested in analyzing facial data for Users age 14 and up, at Family Science Days, even the little ones got to make “Fun Selfies!” Are you a ‘mad scientist’ or ‘nerdy’ -type? 


    Some of our citizen scientists really had fun with the Fun Selfie feature!



    Thank you citizen scientists!

    The Facetopo app is currently available only for iOS. Android version coming soon. 
    Android Users: SIGNUP to be notified of Facetopo 2.0 Android Beta release.

    Huge thanks our Facetopo booth bunnies and helpers: Model Gulnara Niaz, William, Alexandra, Beatrix, and Gitika, and to our friends at Scistarter, SciCheer, and the Cambridge Science Festival!



    We are super-excited to participate in Family Science Days, the science festival at the AAAS Annual Meeting in Boston this year!

    AAAS was founded in Philadelphia in 1848 and is one of the oldest scientific societies in America. The American Association for the Advancement of Science is a nonprofit professional society dedicated to the advancement of scientific and technological excellence across all disciplines, and to the public’s understanding of science and technology. Family Science Days at the annual AAAS Meeting attracts science-loving families from all over the world.

    We’ve been working to develop a fun interactive activity for our visitors, and we’ve come up with a new feature within the app: the “Fun Selfie” feature. After you’ve taken your serious selfies and made your facetopo, you then get to make a silly face and create a “Fun Selfe” to share with friends.

    We’ve also put together a poster presentation to articulate our hypothesis for the Facetopo citizen science project. Our poster is entitled, “Initial Quantitation of 3D Facial Features from Volunteer Facetopo Testers” and we’re pleased to show: reproducibility, normal variance of facial feature data across Users, and our methodology.

    The Facetopo app maps your face in 3D by placing 70 scientifically-derived facial landmark nodes onto your selfies. Behind-the-scenes, the app calculates the distance between each node and all the other nodes. We visualize similarity between Captures and Users using a dendrogram, a tree diagram often used in computational biology to illustrate similarity among samples. The dendrogram in our AAAS poster shows data from 40 Users doing 4 captures each. Shown here is a small segment of the dendrogram:

    When we have 10,000 Users who have created 2 matching Captures, we’ll create and publish our first Facetopo Facetree. All of the Facetopo Users that help us get to 10,000 Users will be able to see which branch of the Facetree their face belongs on and see other faces similar to their own. Those faces similar to yours will be your “Face Family.”

    So don’t waste a moment, install the Facetopo app today and give it a try so your face can be part of our first 10K Facetree!

    The Facetopo app is currently available only for iOS. Android version coming soon. Android Users: SIGNUP to be notified of Facetopo 2.o Android Beta release.

    Shoutouts to our Facetopo booth bunnies! Model Gulnara Niaz, William, Alexandra, Beatrix, and Gitika, and to our friends at Scistarter, SciCheer, and the Cambridge Science Festival!




    At the top of the New Year, let’s take a moment to celebrate last year’s accomplishments. 2016 was a landmark year for Facetopo. After nearly two years of development, the Facetopo app dropped in the itunes App store in March, and the Googleplay store in April. Word of our global citizen science project spread organically via science festivals, tech events, word-of-mouth, and social media, and we finished the year with nearly 2000 unique users from all around the world. 

    When we reached our first 1K Users milestone In October we analyzed the facial landmark data and learned that reproducibility needed improvement. We jumped right back into app development: Facetopo 2.0 makes huge leaps in usability and accuracy. We’ve greatly simplified the User experience by developing an app that automatically places facial landmarks onto the User selfies. Facetopo 2.0 is currently in Beta and we anticipate a February release. We are getting close to completing our first round of Beta-testing for Facetopo 2.0. Sign up to help Betatest 2.0 (we only need about 20 more testers!)

    The Facetopo App is out in the wild and we're excited to see what we'll learn from it. Thanks to all who have joined the Facetopo community and donated your Facetopos to science! 

    Thanks to all for making our betalaunch a success. We are especially grateful for the support of Catalyst Conversations, Science Cheerleader, Scistarter, The Crowd & The Cloud PBS TV series, Workbar, the Good Ones, the Cambridge Science Festival, and Betabound, as well as Boston-area Meetup groups Nerdnite, Quantified Self, Datavis, Tech Poetics, and Camera Culture.

    Mark your calendars! We've got lots in the works for 2017:
    February 10: Look for Facetopo 2.0 in iTunes App store
    February 18-19: Facetopo at AAAS Family Science Days, Hynes Convention Center, Boston, MA
    April 15: Facetopo at the Cambridge Science Festival Science Carnival/Robot Zoo, Cambridge, MA