A selfie that can predict your life span - CBS46 News

A selfie that can predict your life span

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Karl Ricanek explains how Face My Age works. (Source: WECT) Karl Ricanek explains how Face My Age works. (Source: WECT)

A picture is worth a thousand words, and after taking a selfie, it could save you thousands of dollars.

Applying for life insurance is a lengthy and expensive process.

"Underwriting can take anywhere from five to ten days," explained local entrepreneur and UNCW professor, Karl Ricanek. 

Ricanek has been working on a new process to determine your life insurance quote that is not only fun but easy.

"The idea is that we can streamline the process by removing the need to take blood and genetic materials," Ricanek said.

For the past ten years , Ricanek has been working on facial biometric research and earlier this year he launched a website called Face My Age. Face My Age works by uploading a selfie from your phone or tablet to the website, and then entering in your basic information.

"What gets produced is an image of you with your face age and prediction of longevity," Ricanek said.

But, how is a single photo able to predict your life span?

"When you put in the guide points on the eyes, nose, and chin our computer systems automatically landmarks 250 points around the face," Ricanek explained.

Those 250 points then create a facial grid that breaks down your genetic structure.

"So we look at all of the parts of the grid to determine your face age, and your face age is a surrogate for how fast you are aging," Ricanek said.

How fast you age has a lot to do with your lifestyle choices. 

Some of the questions you are required to answer ask about the amount of sun exposure you've had, your highest form of education, and drug and alcohol use. 

By knowing your life expectancy Ricanek said it will better prepare you financially.

"We are hoping these individuals are using this site to better plan their lives," he stated.

Ricanek said 1.5 million people already use the website on a personal level, but his goal is to launch this program for insurance companies nationwide.

To upload your picture and determine your face age, click here: http://www.facemyage.com/

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