Beard vision: Philips Grooming Guide app gives us computer-generated facial hair (and a bit of a laugh)
Being the ultra-trendy Shoreditch-ites that we are (not), we're more than aware of the explosion of facial hair that's hit London. But it's not only here in the UK. Coiffed 'taches, Brazilian goatees - is that even a thing? - and full-on Santa beards are booming the world over.
Ever thought about grooming your facial man fluff into a wonderfully cultivated design? Well Philips is developing an app that can render "photo realistic" facial hair on your very own face. And it's hilarious fun (even if it's not meant to be).
At the Philips stand at this year's IFA electronics show in Berlin, we were treated to a rundown of the in-development app where we styled up a bushy beard.
The app uses the iPad's front-on camera to take a selfie and the technology can recognise the position of the face - the relative distance from eyes, ears, nose and mouth - in order to apply your virtual whiskers with accuracy.
Different styles and hair colours are available to tap and select. Keep experimenting until you find a result that you like or, alternatively, the Grooming Guide asks you various questions about facial shape, fashion preferences and generates what it believes will be a style to suit you.
Ours was a bit of a gruff, ultra-dark beard that looked, well, stupid (we've had a similar one in real life before). It's about as photo-realistic as Lara Croft is real, but it's all a bit of fun and does give a good sense of how things could look.
Then share how great/stupid you look via the usual social media channels. Philips kindly emailed our sample shot to us so you can all giggle at how beard-tastic we look.
We'd like to see colour-matched hair based on the self-snapped photo rather than the limited selection of current options - the red beard was a bit much, for example, something that mother nature hasn't blessed us with - and on-screen live manipulation would take things up a notch too. Still, this is an early show of the in-development app, so anything could happen.
If you already have a stonking-great beard complete with a bird's nest then we doubt this app will be for you. But the clean-shaven among us can certainly have some fun with adding absurd new styles to our virtual faces when the Grooming Guide is released. It's expected in 2014.