If you want the cold, hard truth about how you look, don't ask your friends. Ask your iPhone.
A new iPhone application called "Ugly Meter" lets users take photos of their faces and then analyzes their facial structure in real-time. Once the app is done scanning, it delivers a score on a 10-point scale.
Get a 10 out of 10? It might tell you "You're so ugly, when you walk by the bathroom, the toilet flushes." But if you score something closer to 1, it might be a little kinder. A 2.6-rated picture, for example, might generate the comment, "If beauty were time, you'd be an eternity."
"We've done some serious games in the past and just wanted to do something funny," said Eugene Overline, co-owner and lead programmer of Dapper Gentlemen of Gilbert, Arizona, the company behind the application. "You take it out and you won't get your phone back for an hour."
When he's taken it out at dinner parties, he said," People will just be crying, they're laughing so hard."
The application, which launched last week, costs 99 cents in Apple's Overline said the application is based on actual science linking symmetry to beauty, but given the limitations of an iPhone camera (in terms of lighting and resolution), it's meant to be a light-hearted game, not any kind of scientific tool.
"There are some measurements that are official definitions for how beauty is created. … They're really subtle," he said. "[The app] does its best to attempt to measure those different points of symmetry on the face."
For example, it calculates the width of a person's mouth relative to its distance from their eyes, he said.
But results can vary significantly depending on the angle of the photo or the surrounding light. He also said that scientific research assumes a three-dimensional figure, while the application is working with two-dimensional pictures.
"We took the aspects that we could integrate into the computer program," he said. "It's accurate enough to be fun."
"Ugly Meter" is just the latest addition to the thousands of applications in Apple's App store that are meant to entertain, educate or expedite. Take a look at a few others below:
It's the one major drawback of a group dinner out: The check arrives, and everyone struggles to pay in a chaotic clash of cards, cash and IOUs.
But a new version of an iPhone app from PayPal attempts to take the pain out of splitting the bill.
PayPal, an eBay company based in San Jose, Calif., lets registered users send money securely over the Internet.
Founded in 1998 (and acquired by eBay in 2002), it has more than 78 million active accounts in 19 currencies.
Its new app relies on technology from Bump Technologies, which created a way to share contact information by touching two phones together. The app uses the phone's sensors to "feel" the bump, the company said. The information swap is secure and happens instantaneously.
PayPal's new application can be downloaded for free from Apple's App Store. Once someone logs in with her credentials and identifies the recipient (via e-mail address), she can just bump her phone with a friend's to transfer money for concert tickets, a group dinner, a birthday present and more.