Face-scanning technologies are infiltrating food, security and iPhone apps. By reading your facial expressions, these vaguely unsettling machines can detect what you're hungry for, if you're a criminal and if you've got game with the ladies.
Read below for five Minority Report special effects that may soon be part of your everyday transactions.
1. Food Recommendation Vending Machine
Care of Kraft and Intel, this face scanner reads your expression and tells you what you want for dinner.
Of course, the diagnosis will be for meal made from a Kraft recipe, but the technology will also, supposedly, alert consumers to what they are aching to eat before they even realize it themselves.
Called the "Meal Planning Solution," the kiosk display will be a retail reality this year. Read more at Mashable.
2. TSA Devices That Read Your Mind
The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) has caught some heat for feeling up travelers and for below-the-belt x-ray body scans.
Things are looking up at the TSA, with high-tech face scanners that read your facial expressions and match them to a digital database of microexpressions that determines if you are wary, frightened or ready to blow up a plane. Mother Jones has more on this multi-million dollar project.
3. iPhone App That Judges Your Friends
A facial-recognition app called Candid Camera: Black Ops Edition will take a photo of anyone and assign them a Black Ops personality trait, like a "Try Hard" or a "Noob." A Try Hard, according to the app, is obnoxious and will do anything to pick up "da ladiez." A Noob has no game.
The app was developed by a high-school senior. Remember, this is a game. Keep your face up even if the 99-cent app decrees it's the mug of a Noob.
4. Iris and Face Scanning Secures a City
The city of Leon, Mexico, made headlines last year in its quest to become "the most secure city in the world." The plan is to have the one million residents use their face and eyes to prove their identity.
In the future, whether it's entering your home, opening your car, entering your workspace, getting a pharmacy prescription refilled, or having your medical records pulled up, everything will come off that unique key that is your iris.
So, not only are the eyes the windows to the soul, they're also the key to your garage-door opener.
5. Face-Scanning App Makes You 3D
The Trimensional app claims to be the iPhone 4's first 3D scanner. The device detects light patterns reflected off your face to build a 3D model of you making a funny, mad or happy face. The pics are shareable, and the app costs 99 cents.