The Whassisname App

It was a Friday in July. We were winding down with Radio 4 in the background when a story sparked our imagination - Mary Ann Sieghart, a lobby correspondent, describing what it was like living with Prosopagnosia (Face Blindness). A serious neurological syndrome, characterised by difficulties recognising faces.
Surprisingly it affects 1 in every 50 people in the UK. Compare that with Autism (1 in 88) and it's hard to fathom why more people aren't aware of it.
The programme, 'Who Are You Again?' interviewed Prosopagnosia sufferers Stephen Fry and Patricia Hewitt. They described the constant embarrassment it caused and how people don't know the medical condition exists and assumed they just had a bad memory for faces.
Mary Ann wrapped up the programme with her dream: "We sufferers live in hope that a gadget will be invented that will identify faces for us".

We looked at each other… Now there's a challenge. Something a brand could develop to help millions improve their quality of life.
Immediately we thought of Specsavers. A much loved brand that already helps millions of people with eye and hearing defects.
They adopt the cutting edge of retail IT and embrace the most up-to-date technology as a means of delivering an exceptional customer experience.
A free Personal Assistant App to help Face Blindness sufferers and anybody who forgets the names of people they've met.
Solving a universal human problem and introducing the Specsaver brand to many who have never stepped into their stores.
Facesaver App Prototype The UI design reflects the clean simplicity of current Specsaver apps.
You upload a photo of the person you want to identify to the Facesaver server in the cloud. To help the server identify the person you can 'Add info' you know:
First Name/Surname Company/College/School/Other
The Facesaver algorithm converts the photo to a biometric facemap and compares for matches in the system's database - built from partnerships with popular social networks: Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, Instagram etc. Best results are returned to the device.
Of course the big issue surrounding facial recognition technology is privacy, even though its commercial use is widespread.
Facebook use it to auto-tag photos, Google to recognise who's in a picture and Tesco installed cameras across 500 stores to map the demographic patterns of its customers.
FindFace is a successful proof of concept - but in Facesaver, we will create a structure to protect the privacy of people. A bit like the 'Connection' system on LinkedIn.
The person who's face you want to identify receives a notification through their social media. To protect their privacy, you won't receive the matching name without their permission.
Once permission is granted you'll get full access to their various profiles.
We're looking forward to telling Mary Ann Sieghart, Stephen Fry and Patricia Hewitt that their 30 minute radio programme inspired Specsavers to challenge the privacy issue to give millions of people the chance of a better life.
Facesaver is a transformational app.
We believe the whole world will thank Specsavers for improving their lives.

Team Credits

Fraser Adamson & Julian Dyer - Integrated Creative Team

  • Message
  • Guys Of Disruption

Project Tags

  • App Design
  • Healthcare
  • Retail