App turns your mobile phone into a 3D pocket hair salon

On Wednesday, during Innovation Day 2013 at Microsoft Research Asia, Lvdi Wang and colleague Fan Yang made a dream come true for indecisive people everywhere: it turned a mobile phone into a hair salon, where you can try out different styles – and even cut them – without having to take one step anywhere.

As Inside Microsoft Research reports, Wang and Yang’s demo, “Digital Barber: 3D Hair Manipulation on Mobile Phone,” built upon a SIGGRAPH 2013 paper called “Dynamic Hair Manipulation in Images and Videos,” written in part by Wang, along with a few academic collaborators. That paper enabled the creation of a 3D hair model from a single photograph.

The recent digital barber demo now renders the results in three dimensions, giving the project much more real-world applicability.

“We have been thinking about how we could use the hair-model technology to give users a more interesting experience,” Yang says. “For this application, the basic idea is that the users could change their hair with a single click, as before, but the cool thing in our technology is that all the hair scenes are 3D. Now, we supply the user with a real 3D experience, in which you can turn a head, do some animations, and cut your hair with some simple interactions.”

And, you can show your hairstylist the cut, from several angles.

“For 2D images, it’s hard to get results that reflect what you wanted. But with our 3D results, we have your 3D head model and 3D hair model, which means that all this technology, all the geometries, are real,” Yang says. “When you’re using our application and select a hairstyle, it’s really good. You can just tell the barber, ‘Cut this for me,’ and he can do that.”

Read the rest of this hair-raising story on Inside Microsoft Research.

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Athima Chansanchai
Microsoft News Center Staff