Ever wondered if there's someone out there right now who looks like you, and who just happens to be drinking a Coke? Well...no, neither have I. But Coke is dipping its toe into social network and face recognition tech to tell you this info.
Coke's new advert/application is called the Facial Profiler, and it works a little something like the existing FindMyDoppelganger.com Web site. FMD's system has an established database of photographs though--it compares you to celebrities--whereas Coke's system is designed to match up your features with other Facebook users. To work, Coke needed to build up a critical mass of images before the official launch, so it had been privately soliciting them.
Now it's gone public so all you have to do is join the app on Facebook, upload an image of your Face and let the app's face recognition algorithm do its job. When it finds someone who looks like you (but not exactly you--it's clever enough to avoid matching you with yourself) it'll display the match, and you can vote on the accuracy, which will help improve the algorithm. It also prevents security problems by being a strictly opt-in system, and it'll delete your pics if you remove the app.
Why all this cleverness? It's to pair up people who are almost exactly the same--supposedly like Coke and the sugar-free alternative Coke Zero. Geddit? A bit thin, I'll admit. But it'll appeal to the teenage generation, you can bet your bottom dollar...which is exactly what Coke's doing. One thing's for sure--when a giant like Coca-Cola gets intrigued by social networking and high tech, it's only a matter of time until everyone else does too.
[Via The Wall Street Journal]