TBG Creates Smiling Software for the Masses

By Bob Marshall 

In order to stimulate creative harmony between newbies and seasons pros, the folks at the Barbarian Group have instituted something called “Project Popcorn.” For the project’s maiden voyage, new hire Caelin Cacciatore was paired with Barbarians John Bresnik and Josh Carr to collaborate on a creation. The result, a facial recognition tool called “Two of Us,” is the kind of simple happiness-focused website that one would expect brands in the “business of smiling” (Coke, McDonald’s, Four Loko etc.) t0 put their stamp on immediately.

The premise is elementary. All you have to do is take a photo of yourself showing off your pearly whites in a big ol’ smile, and “Two of Us” matches your grin to a similar one from someone else using the site. If you’re the kind of person who smiles frequently, it must be nice to get a pleasant response as opposed to the more common looks of suspicion and derision. Also, to the sickos out there, do you think you can pull an Anthony Weiner and trick unsuspecting happy people to look at your, um, something else? Don’t even think about it, as the Barbarians’ blog says, “We’ve got special smile detection software to make sure you’re sending a smile and not…something else.”

The “Two of Us” smile detection software was constructed by Sebastián Alvarez.