HourFace in Review – You, in 90 years

Novelty apps really thrive at the App Store. And I’m not talking about the infamous fart sort – TMA aren’t that interested in gassing. Rather there are quite a number interesting and creative apps out there. I’ve recently reviewed such a one from MotionPortrait, Inc. – PhotoSpeak and was very impressed by what it can do. And now we have a new title from the same developer – HourFace.

HourFace is an application that uses the same underlying engine as PhotoSpeak. However, instead of lipsyncing sounds it actually estimates how your face has changed/will change throughout the span of your entire life. An interesting idea and amazingly it’s quite accurate.

The interface of the app is as simple as can be. All controls are grouped at the bottom of the main menu – you can either open a previously converted face or take a new picture to process from your library or from your photo album. After you choose either and get the picture you have to scale and position the box to enclose the face of the victim. After that you simply press a button and watch the magic happen. Well, actually, you’ll have to wait a minute or two before it works, but that’s part of the magic.

Once you have the face model back on your iDevice it’s time to marvel. Right before your eyes the face will gradually change from boyish smooth and pink to the aged and lined grey variety. Turn the phone upside down and watch the magic happen the other way around. As an added bonus you can shake the iPhone at maximum age to see the face cough. Wow, that was scary. You can also double tap to view the face full-screen as well send it via e-mail or save as a photo.

The interesting thing is that the HourFace is actually quite accurate. I don’t know about me but my victim Steve Jobs actually is not too far away from his image as seen by HourFace. It’s a pity the app doesn’t estimate changes in hair coverage and colour. The other downer for me was that you could only save static photos and upload videos to Youtube.

HourFace is an interesting extension of the concept pioneered by PhotoSpeak. At the same time it feels out of place as a separate app, especially for $1.99. I would be much more happy if it was an update to PhotoSpeak or at least DLC for it. Despite its originality, I would recommend you skip it, or at least wait for a discount before purchasing.

With this I declare HourFace officially touched!

App Summary
Title: HourFace Developer: MotionPortrait, Inc.
Reviewed Ver: 1.2 Min OS Req: 3.0
Price: $1.99 App Size: 3.6 MB
  • Interesting and original idea
  • Amazingly accurate
  • Not worth it as a standalone product


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