You don’t know what you’ll be like in 20 years, and neither does communications company Orange, but that didn’t stop them from creating a goofy Web app that pretends to connect you via video chat to your future self. Using some pretty sophisticated 3D modeling technology, the site snaps your photo, applies it to the a 3D-animated model, ages it 20 years (to celebrate Orange’s 20th anniversary), then lets you chat with it.
It’s a fairly entertaining way to waste five minutes of your time—when it works, that is. When it breaks, on the other hand, horror ensues.
I first noticed that the site’s facial recognition might be a bit wonky when it tried to capture a wrinkle on my shirt, thinking it was a human face. The app really tries its hardest to find a face anywhere it can, and the fact that you can upload any image you want—instead of letting the site use your webcam to find its own—only leads to disturbing results.
You’re also given the freedom to adjust exactly how your “face” is captured, by tweaking the shape of the capture field. As someone who finds things like the recent facial capture abominations of NBA 2K15 to be absolutely hilarious, I simply couldn’t help myself.
I created mutant me, and started chatting with it. And then things for weird. For starters, the sim likes to compliment the user’s looks, thereby complimenting itself. Watching the mottled version of me utter “I’m quite a looker, aren’t I?” is hilarious yet disturbing.
If you’re interested in using the app for its intended purpose, you can ask it things like where you live in the future, what cars are like, and how much money you’ll end up making. The answers don’t seem to change much regardless of how many times you ask each question, and after about 10 minutes you’ll see you’ve put future you through all of its paces.
That being said, creating a freak show version of yourself and letting it tell you about the future is time well spent.