Augmented reality can do some really creepy things to mirrors. This new concept displays a 3-D animal avatar as your reflection, mimicking your facial expressions in a horrifying, mocking way.
New York artist Karolina Sobecka calls the system "All the Universe is Full of the Lives of Perfect Creatures," and says it is meant to evoke inquiry into self-awareness, empathy and non-verbal communication. She built it using the FaceTracker library from Jason Saragih, a FaceTracker add-on, and Unity3d and Blender3d. Other face-morphing apps we have seen just change a human face into a different-looking human face — this goes another step entirely.
You get a different animal every time you walk in front of the mirror, and the animal's facial expressions mirror and play off your own. Step back and the ghostly wolf flattens its ears; curl your lip and watch it bare its teeth; laugh and an evil, evil goat laughs with you. The person looking at his or her reflection would see the animal head instead of her own head. But a viewer at an angle would see a disembodied animal head like the one here.
"The familiar is transformed into the uncanny, prompting us to see the mechanics of perception, interaction, and relationships with others anew," Sobecka explains.
Does this make you see the world in a new light?
Five amazing, clean technologies that will set us free, in this month's energy-focused issue. Also: how to build a better bomb detector, the robotic toys that are raising your children, a human catapult, the world's smallest arcade, and much more.