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See What You’ll Look Like In 20 Years

Disagree? Well in 20 years, you can prove the software wrong.

I always hoped to be a silver fox. But I’m a pug. I guess people like pugs.

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I’m looking at my face in 20 years–myself at age 52–because for whatever self-loathing reason, I was compelled to take part in this strange “Futureself” promotional campaign by UK telecom company Orange, created by publicis conseil and jam3. So I looked into my webcam, hit a button, watched as all sorts of calculating polygons run over my photo, and–like a very low budget Back to the Future reboot, I came face-to-face with a moving, talking, 3-D representation of future me.


Did you know I’ll have a British accent? Apparently those Dr. Who marathons are really paying off.

Yet I can’t really bring myself to chat with future me–not because I don’t want Dr. Who/life spoilers, but because I’m too busy staring at this weird alternate self.

It’s a horrible likeness. Downright silly, even. For one, my face is all scrunched like some toy dog, while my forehead is elongated a la Herman Munster. My nose ends up looking quite smashed and wide, when really it’s a ski slope off of my face. These aren’t artifacts of aging. They’re just weird errors.

From what I can tell, the web app is taking my real eyes, nose, and mouth, then augmenting their geometry through some sort of aging filter and squeezing the results on a one-size-fits-all head. In this case, it has compressed my face onto a model that doesn’t quite fit the real shape of my head, and the result is a bit of a pug Munster.

I call my wife, a portrait artist, over to the computer. She has a good laugh. It looks nothing like me, she says. The jaw is all wrong. “The eyes are a total caricature.”

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Her soothing words, of course, have the exact opposite effect on me. A caricature? So…this guy does look like me in some way? Then I start looking into those eyes. They do look a lot like my eyes, especially, I imagine, as my skin begins to sag. And if they got the eyes right–oh wow, that is sort of my nose at a head-on angle, and that’s my poorly trimmed mustache that sits like a jester on the throne that is my beard. And my beard! It’s splotchy! Do I go beard-bald?!? Is that a thing?!??!

But before I begin typing “beard bald” into the blessed Google search bar, before I head over to Amazon to search for “Rogaine of the face,” my wife chimes in with one resounding bit of reason:

“Mark, you won’t look like this,” she insists. “You know who you’ll look like? You’ll look like your dad.”

And I can live with that.

Try it here.

[H/T: Designboom]

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About the author

Mark Wilson is a senior writer at Fast Company who has written about design, technology, and culture for almost 15 years. His work has appeared at Gizmodo, Kotaku, PopMech, PopSci, Esquire, American Photo and Lucky Peach

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