Polish up those pearly whites because you can now mark pages to bookmark, like, tweet, and share, by simply smiling!
Smile Suggest, a Chrome browser extension, uses facial recognition technology to identify things on the Internet that make you smile. It saves a list of everything you smiled at, so later you can review the list and decide which things to save or share with your friends on social media.
After all, even if you end up sharing nothing, it could be interesting to be able to look back and reflect on all the things that got a grin out of me during the day. If anything, it’s less of a creepy use of facial-recognition tech than we’ve seen before.
Smile Suggest Instructions :)
You will need to install the extension, and after that set-up is as easy as following the prompts.
As the informative alert message says, you will need to allow webcam access to use Smile Suggest. So, hit the “Allow” button, as follows.
Now, you’ll need to set a threshold for how big a smile needs to be to trigger a Smile Suggest save.
It’s tricky to decide on your smile threshold number. Too low, and you’ll just see a list of all the garbage you looked at on Reddit that was momentarily funny. Too high, and your list might be empty. You may need to play with it a bit. I initially set mine to 7, thought better of it, and set it to 8. It was very hard to smile a 10.
Smile Suggest’s creator provides some simple Instructions for best results:
Make sure your face is well lit, without a light source behind you, for the best results. Even with the best face tracking, Smile Suggest still struggles with beards. Beardist.
How Good Is the Facial/Emotional Recognition? :/
I made faces at my webcam to see how good the facial and emotional recognition is for Smile Suggest, with hilarious results.
Cover an eye, and it has trouble finding your face. Cock your head to the side, and it has trouble finding you at all.
I decided to test Smile Suggest for a bit of web browsing. One thing: I smile a lot. I have been told that on numerous occasions by different parties, throughout my life. I crossed my fingers that during the course of my experiment my webcam didn’t catch me inadvertently grinning at tragic news for some reason.
The first time you visit Smile Suggest’s page after getting it set up, you’ll see this handy help guide to let you know what the icons do. They’re pretty clear, which I appreciate.
After some hours of Internet surfing, you can check Smile Suggest to see what it saved for you. This is my un-edited list.
Not-so-Happy Things :(
Unfortunately, Smile Suggest doesn’t have the ability to tell you what specifically made you smile. It doesn’t capture the individual email or Facebook post that makes you happy, for example. And if other things are going on around you while you use the computer, Smile Suggest may not work for you properly. The extension can’t know if you’re smiling at coworkers, family, or something you’re actively looking at on your computer screen, if you look past it for a second.
Smile Suggest is not going to change your life. It will probably drain your laptop battery, and literally watches you non-stop. That’s kind of creepy, so I recommend you turn it on only when you’re interested in using it (and put a post-it note over your webcam in case hackers get control of it). If you can get past that though, it’s a neat tool, and it’s fun to see the records and reflect on the good things you saw online that day.
Final Thoughts & Ways to Learn more :)
If you liked this extension and are looking to add to your browser’s toolkit, we’ve got a great roundup of Google Gold: 15 Essential Chrome Extensions.
Will you give Smile Suggest a try? What other things would you like to be able to control through your webcam? Or is this just plain creepy? Tell us what you really think.