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August 15, 2006 - Ever been told you look like a young Sean Connery or Connie Chung? A genealogy-based website, MyHeritage.com, can prove just that by matching your personal photo with that of a celebrity.
MyHeritage.com can "find the celebrity in you," states the website. Users can search the website’s celebrity photo collection to see what superstar they resemble. After a user uploads a personal photo, ideally a large-file, front-facing photo, the site scans an international celebrity database ranging from Abraham Lincoln to Zac Hanson and then matches the photos. The site allows for multiple face photos and can match up to two faces at one time, as tested. MyHeritage sometimes matches a user’s photo with a celebrity of a different ethnicity or gender.
The Israel-based website launched in December 2005, according to an Associate Press article. Since then, MyHeritage has caught the attention of the Wall Street Journal, The Chicago Tribune, and ABC News in news features. The face-recognition technology, made increasingly popular with built-in camera features in Nikon, Fuji, Canon, Pentax, has sprung into photo-sharing websites such as Riya.com to organize photo collections.
The free provider is "one of the world’s first services to apply face recognition technology to personal photos and family history," states MyHeritage.com. In addition to serving as pure entertainment, the site can match a personal photo and/or name with an ancestor database of about 400 sources including the World Cemetery Records, according to a Wall Street Journal article. "You can upload your family’s elusive old photos that no-one in your family knows who is in them and let MyHeritage.com try to recognize these people," states the website.