Controlling your devices via simple gestures that are read through your webcam might seem a futuristic idea, but as recently covered app Flutter showed (read full review here), it isn’t that far away any more. If you think waving your hand infront of your webcam to trigger iTunes was cool, you’re going to love faceMe. It’s a Mac app worth $1.99, and is, literally, worth every penny you pay. Like Flutter, it too is triggered by what the webcam sees; only, instead of being limited to a single app, faceMe lets you launch an audio file, a video or an app, quit an open app, open a file or speak predefined text when it detects a face. More on this marvellous app after the break.
Just to clarify, the app ‘detects’ faces but does not ‘recognize’ them. That means it can’t tell if it’s you looking into the webcam, or the old lady next door who has a fairly impressive moustache. It can tell when there’s a face, however, and that’s all the trigger it needs. Why is it good if it can’t tell who’s sitting at your Mac? Let’s find out.
faceMe triggers apps to launch and files to open, and can effectively be used as an app launcher. The second you sit down, your frequently used app or the file you were just working on will open. Since the app also opens audio and video files, you can set it to start playback on a playlist, too, so you don’t have to manually play your music. The app can launch apps that support other trigger functions, making the usage possibilities numerous.
Launch the faceMe app and from preferences and select the input source, i.e., the webcam. If you see a blue square in the viewing pane, it indicates that the app has successfully connected with your webcam, and is detecting faces. In the event that the app connects to your webcam but fails to detect your face, try to smile more and check the Force app to work under High Accurate detection mode.
Set up the triggers next by checking them and associating relevant files and apps that you want to open. Next, you need to pay attention to the two sliders below the viewing pane. These sliders are important, as they determine how frequently the app will detect a face and run all triggers. A detection cycle (the first slider) selects how long the app looks for a face when the system is being used. You may want it to last a few seconds, as in our testing, it worked really well with 10 seconds, but the time might vary based on your camera’s quality.
To stop detection (the second slider) is important, too, or the detection cycle will loop and the app will keep triggering the apps and files it is supposed to. You can stop detection for the maximum of an hour, and should you wish to stop it permanently after you start using the system, consider enabling Force another app to quit and select the app itself. Once the triggers are set. click Test All Selected & Save, and then hit Finish Setting & Start Face Detection.
You’re all set to use faceMe now. It can be used to demo something on your Mac, or the TTS trigger can be used to read out a reminder list. The possibilities are virtually endless. Welcome to the future!