Mirror, mirror on the wall, who's the fairest of them all?
You are, obviously — and if a new startup has its way, your reflection will soon be even more beautiful... and less realistic.
This is the ModiFace HD Mirror, a "smart mirror" that's designed to show you your best, most beautiful self — through the magic of augmented reality.
Debuting at CES, the mirror can simulate realistic “makeup, skin-care, anti-aging, brow reshaping, teeth whitening, and contact lens effects” up close and personal. It's basically Photoshop for your reflection, in real time.
Here's the official ModiFace Mirror trailer. Watch this, and tell me if it doesn't freak you out a little.
This is, obviously, a super-optimistic vision of what COULD come — it's more likely that you'd be able to look in a mirror and see a more "perfect" version of yourself.
Imagine: you look in the mirror, and the freckles you've had your whole life are gone. That stubborn zit? Erased. Your sleepy eyes? Wide, awake, sparkling.
Reality is a thing of the past.
Tech that makes you appear more beautiful isn't a new idea — but it's the first time the results are so immediate.
Some smartphones already have so-called “beauty mode” built in to their front facing cameras — it smooths skin, makes eyes bigger, slims the jawline. Some video cameras have similar features, which accounts for the diffuse glow seen in so many YouTube beauty tutorials.
As with everything, I have mixed feelings about this. One one hand, everyone has a right to edit their own photos however they want — if you want to airbrush yourself into Kardashian perfection, DO IT.
You’re in charge of your online image, and if you want a face as smooth as a mannequin, edit away. Do whatever makes you happy. Khloe's highlight is FaceTuned to high heaven, and she's thriving.
On the other hand, I know firsthand how damaging this can be. I love my face just the way it is, but after two minutes with Snapchat's "pretty" filter — and I'm ready to throw myself out a window.
All I can think is “This is how beautiful I could be — if my cheeks weren’t so wide, if my eyes were bigger, if my lips were more full.” When I go back to my “real” face, after seeing an artificially augmented one, I feel shitty about myself. Even though I know I’m a bomb-ass beautiful bitch, I get tricked into thinking that somehow I could be MORE.
And I think, what if this was the face I saw in the mirror every day? Not my own face, flaws and all, but an enhanced and modified version? How would that affect me?
I also wonder how exposure to "magic" mirrors like this will affect the world — especially when it comes to beauty standards.
People are genuinely horrified that you can see my pores on Instagram. This is not because I'm gross (I am, as mentioned a badass babe), but because the world is used to a certain standard of airbrushed perfection when it comes to images online.
It doesn't matter that it isn't real. It just matters that we see it, and we get used to it.
I wonder how much worse this will get when those artificially perfected images aren't just in strangers' social media feeds, but in our own mirrors.
I worry that it will make people feel constantly bad about themselves, always striving for one more level or perfection that might not be attainable. Trying on virtual makeup is one thing; trying on virtual cheek implants is entirely different.
But that concern is probably a long time away. Right now, the ModiFace Mirror HD seems to be aimed at professionals — which raises a whole other set of questions.
Here, you can see what the ModiFace Mirror would be used for in a dermatological setting, and this shit is COMPELLING. I'd have a hard time seeing myself "perfected" like that, and walking away from a consultation.
Is this just another tool to help inform consumers — or is it another way to make us feel insecure and get us to spend more money?
More importantly, will I love myself more or less if I can fake a nose job — like this CNet anchor did — simply by swiping up?
You can watch her ModiFace demo here — it begins at :54.
What do you think about "smart mirrors" that alter your reflection?
I am genuinely interested in how you guys feel — lmk in the comments, or on Facebook.