This week, Microsoft introduced MyMoustache.net, a website that analyses men’s moustaches and ranks them against every other player.
It’s not impressed with my stubble:
But you get a better sense of the state of play in the moustache game with some of the sample pictures:
It’s a lot of fun, just like How-Old.net, Microsoft’s age-guessing website that became a massive hit earlier this year.
You can even play if you don’t have any facial hair at all: An “Auto-Stache” feature automatically detects and draws on a beard for you.
Better yet, MyMoustache.net is for a good cause: It’s all to raise awareness for the Movember Foundation, the global nonprofit that runs a beard-growing competition to raise funds for men’s health issues like prostate and testicular cancer research.
The site is also a way for Microsoft to show off what it’s working on behind the scenes, with smarter applications that can use facial recognition and huge amounts of data to make intelligent guesses by using its Project Oxford technology.
“We started with a simple question, ‘What if we could use machine learning technology to detect the length of facial hair?’ Many hallway jokes, brainstorming sessions, and mockups later, our early ideas have been realised far beyond our initial expectations,” writes Microsoft on “the magic” behind the MyMoustache.net website.
Supposedly, the app learns over time from the data everyone uploads, improving and becoming more accurate as more people use it. You have to opt in to letting Microsoft use your photo “for science.”
But it’s possible to baffle MyMoustache.net. It couldn’t make heads or tails of this photo of New York Times tech writer Farhad Manjoo: