Want to Know How Ugly You Are? Ask Your iPhone

'Ugly Meter' iPhone app analyzes photos of faces to determine attractiveness.

ByKi Mae Heussner
October 15, 2010, 4:41 PM

Oct. 18, 2010— -- 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'sOverline 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.

Released in March, the application helps PayPal and iPhone customers transfer money by simply bumping their phones together.

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.

Apple iPhone Apps

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.

The "Split Check" feature factors in tip and tax, and then helps users divide and pay each other for the cost of a meal for up to 20 people.

"Today, you leave the house with three critical things: your phone, your wallet and your keys," Osama Bedier, PayPal's vice president of platform and emerging technology, said in a statement. "PayPal Send Money lets consumers access their wallets through their phones. Because with PayPal, the wallet lives in the cloud – the mobile phone is just one device customers can use to access it."

If a fear of flying keeps you grounded, Virgin Atlantic has a new iPhone application just for you.

Launched in partnership with developer Mental Workout, the application is based on (and named after) the airline's "Flying Without Fear" course, which the company says has a 98 percent success rate.

The application, available for the iPhone and iPod Touch, includes relaxation and fear therapy exercises, frequently asked questions and a video that explains a flight from start to finish.

It even features a "fear attack button" for emergencies, with breathing exercises and quick tips.

"Our first iPhone app will bring the benefits of our successful Flying Without Fear course to millions of people around the world who are now using mobile technology to make their lives better," Sir Richard Branson, Virgin Atlantic's president, said in a statement. "The app will put many travelers at ease and enable them to prepare for their first Virgin Atlantic flight."

At $4.99, the it's on the pricier side for iPhone applications. But as proof that the app is based on a sound program, Virgin Atlantic said its Flying Without Fear course recently helped Whoopi Goldberg overcome her fear of flying.

"The program works, I was a skeptic. I hadn't flown in 13 years but afterdoing their program, I understood that while my fear was real, there were many things I didn't know or had misinformation about, which they were able to clear up," the actress said in a statement. "So what happened? I now fly. It's that simple."

Viper SmartStart promises to remotely unlock, start and warm your car from almost anywhere in the world.

Launched by Directed Electronics, a vehicle security and remote start systems designer, the app can be downloaded for free from Apple's App store.

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