Hyperface-based Halloween costume
September 28, 2019 1:54 PM   Subscribe

I want to make a Hyperface-based Halloween costume. My plan is basically just to put a cardboard box on my head, cut some sort of eye slit, and glue the printed pattern on all sides of the box aside from a neck hole. Bonus if someone has very simple plans for a box that will stay on.

In the middle of the hyperface applied across each face of the box, I plan to include QR codes for URLs which will help people understand the costume, like text from Hyperface's creator explaining the nature and purpose of the pattern, as well as websites which emphasize the nature of the data transmission which has taken place: from a simple real-world object into an open connection to a web server.

I was thinking https://clickclickclick.click/ for example, and also the root directory of a data-based art project of mine at: https://www.sindark.com/genre/

Does anyone have a high resolution, printable version of the pattern which is known to trigger face detection in various software algorithms and platforms like phones? I emailed the "hello" email address for the Hyperface-creator's website explaining my idea, but have not heard back. I think it's a fair use of the idea, and that it will work well and provoke thought in a context where many people will be shooting photos and video with cell phones. This file is pretty high resolution, but I don't think it's from the original creator and I'm not sure if it works.

Also a bonus if I can somehow read from inside: "Hyperface is "a new kind of camouflage that aims to reduce the confidence score of facial detection and recognition by providing false faces that distract computer vision algorithms" (Harvey, 2017). "[It] aims to alter the surrounding area … [and] offers a higher confidence score for a false face by exploiting a default in certain algorithmic systems for the highest confidence score” (2017). HyperFace reduces the confidence score of the true face (figure) by redirecting more attention to the nearby false face regions."" Hyperlinks to full sources available via the QR code on the front of my head..."
posted by sindark to Clothing, Beauty, & Fashion (12 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
As for keeping the box on, I'd attach (staple? glue?) a couple of elastic strips running parallel to each other inside the box, pretty close together. Then stretch them around your head to put it on.
posted by Weeping_angel at 2:05 PM on September 28, 2019

When trying to make weird objects stick to your head in the correct orientation, hot gluing them to a cheap baseball cap with the bill cut off is worth considering. (Or a bike helmet, if they're big and heavy.)
posted by eotvos at 2:17 PM on September 28, 2019 [7 favorites]

You will probably have to test it and see if it works. It can't be too dependent on being a perfect high-resolution reproduction because it has to work when photographed from different angles, under different lighting, etc.

The pattern is designed to confuse a specific type of face detection system -- the Viola-Jones framework. It is widely used because a version is provided in the very popular OpenCV software package.

Here is a web page that runs an OpenCV face detection pipeline on your webcam. Would be a reasonable test.

The same patterns won't work on newer neural-network-based detectors, which are pretty widespread at this point and could very well be used in phones in lieu of Viola-Jones. But OpenCV remains very popular.
posted by vogon_poet at 3:19 PM on September 28, 2019 [2 favorites]

I just tried out the pattern you linked by holding it up in front of my webcam and it definitely works as intended. Lots of faces detected in the pattern, and when it's held up next to my actual face, the pattern gets detected instead of my face.
posted by vogon_poet at 3:56 PM on September 28, 2019 [3 favorites]

Given vogon_poet's comment, if you can get the print to work, you could cut a hole for your face and demonstrate the impact.
posted by b33j at 5:22 PM on September 28, 2019 [2 favorites]

Instead of a box, how about one of these?
posted by Marky at 7:37 PM on September 28, 2019 [2 favorites]

To make a box stay on, cut out 1/2 circles so it can rest on your shoulders.
posted by theora55 at 8:12 PM on September 28, 2019

I was going to say to glue a cheap plastic sports type helmet that you can chin strap into. Then you can actually turn your head and the box turns too. If you need a taller top, you could find a cardboard tube (like an oatmeal can) and cut it down. I'd hot glue things in place and maybe add some extra bits of cardboard bracing to get more surface to glue so it really stays there. The bottom could be left open, or after a neck hole is cut, once you put it on taped shut.
posted by zengargoyle at 4:54 AM on September 29, 2019 [1 favorite]

Or you could glue in another square piece of cardboard on the inside of the box at the right place and cut a sits-like-a-hat shaped hole in that and make some chin straps.
posted by zengargoyle at 4:56 AM on September 29, 2019

I made a Lego Guy helmet out of a piece of Sonotube with an old wok duct-taped onto the top, covered in a lot of yellow spray paint. I glued in some blocks of foam to the wok as a cushion. It's a little warm, but works great: I have worn it two or three years.

If you really want to make a helmet like this, I would recommend using a cardboard box (so you have good, flat surfaces to glue to), and then hot-glue in foam chunks to hold it still on your head.

Be aware that you will have zero peripheral vision, muffled hearing, and limited ability to converse/eat/drink when wearing a bulky helmet...so decide for sure if this is what you want.
posted by wenestvedt at 7:10 AM on September 30, 2019 [1 favorite]

Thanks for the helpful ideas everyone.

Prototype with no QR codes, iPhone camera hole, or head-mounting system

I like the foam idea shown here.
posted by sindark at 6:34 PM on October 1, 2019

Project complete. Thank you all for your help.
posted by sindark at 10:36 PM on November 2, 2019 [3 favorites]

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