The Windows Phone 7 Marketplace is riddled with apps that are there just for fun. Such apps might not strictly fall into the category of games, but their main purpose is to amuse. Microsoft Research’s Face Swap is one such app. The app borders between an app and a game. Its purpose, as its name implies, is to swap the faces of two people in a photo. All you need to do is pick a photo with two faces clearly visible in it, and the app uses its face-recognition to do the rest for you – excellent for having some fun with your friends’ photos. The best thing about the app is that the modified photos barely leave any tell-tale traces of graphical alteration; they actually look very real.
The first thing you are sure to notice about Face Swap is its interface. The UI looks very refined and professional, as is expected from anything that comes from Microsoft itself.
There are two ways you can import a photo into the app. You can either load an existing photo from the Pictures hub, or snap a new photo from within the app. In both cases, there is just one restriction – the photo being used must not contain just one person’s face. The app can not swap faces from different pictures, not yet at least. Some users have complained about the app failing to detect the faces present in the photos they were using, but in our experience, the face recognition of the app seemed to work just fine. To add a photo, just tap the big ‘+’ button on the home page of the app.
To swap faces, just select a picture and shake your phone. The app does take some time to process the picture, but the amazing end result is well worth the wait. So after you have the resulting face swapped photo, you can save it to your device, or share it with friends. If you feel like comparing the result with the original, simply tap the Show Original button in the top-right corner of the photo to take a quick look at the unmodified photo. Modified pictures can be uploaded to SkyDrive, Facebook, Twitter and Sina Weibo (a Chinese micro-blogging website).
Face Swap is available for free on the Windows Phone Marketplace. The link provided below will take you to the app’s Web Marketplace page.