Raspberry Pi Facial Recognition
Credit: “Raspberry Pi Facial Recognition.” Hackster, Anton, www.hackster.io/gr1m/raspberry-pi-facial-recognition-16e34e.

Google’s Arts and Culture App: Twins?

Google’s ‘Arts and Culture’ app, released in 2016, has recently launched a new, experimental “selfie feature” that compares the biometrics (e.g. distance between eyes) of the user’s face with works of art from over 1,000 museums around the world.

It has become the most downloaded mobile app of January 2018 as people hunt for their unknown doppelganger in the world of art.


The new feature asks users, “Is your portrait in a museum?”

Once matching the facial scan with the art piece, the app connects users with the history of the painting and of the artist. Popularity surged - as Twitter, Instagram, and Youtube users have shared images of their “twins”. Over 20 million selfies have been taken using this app. While some pieces look similar to the user, others do not. A key factor to improving results is using good lighting to sharpen contrast with the background and avoid shadows.

Google's Art and Culture App Image
Credit: “Google’s New Arts and Culture App Matches Your Selfie to a Work of Art: Here's How to Get It in the UK.” Alphr, www.alphr.com/google/1008195/google-arts-culture-app-UK.

Facial recognition is a method of biometric identification that identifies physical features to match individuals with entries in a database. Facial recognition follows three steps: detection, faceprint creation, and identification. Once an image is captured, softwares reorients and resizes the image until software can create a “faceprint”. Faceprints extract facial features from an image of the user’s face and uses an algorithm to analyze the relative position, size, shape of eyes, jaw, eyebrows, and nose shape. The Google App primarily uses eyes as a key factor in ensuring accuracy.

The app, however, isn’t available in Illinois and Texas, where state laws restrict the app’s access to an individual’s biometrics including face scans.


Google is yet to release this app available internationally. Across the globe, people are looking for ways to use this feature. Instead of waiting for Google to make it available, users can download the app through a VPN (virtual private network) set to a location in the United States.

Happy Searching!


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Tagged in : Facial Recognition

Simran Kadadi

Simran Kadadi

Simran is a junior at Fremont High School. She is passionate about STEM and an advocate for female involvement in the tech industry.