Headshot: A Windows Phone Application that Uses Computer Vision to Help You Take Selfies

Headshot helps you take better pictures of yourself. You specify where you want your head to be when taking a self-portrait, then headshot uses face detection to tell you how to rotate your camera so that your head is in the right place.

The initial version of this application was written while I was working as an intern at Microsoft Research as part of an application development contest. I actually ended up winning the contest, which included a $5000 prize for a trip to Hawaii! Speared by this win, I decided to ship the project as an application on Windows Phone. While initial versions of the application did not do well in the store, I kept trying, getting feedback and revising my work accordingly. Eventually the app caught the eye of the Windows Store curators, and has since been featured as one of the recommended camera apps for Windows Phone.

Writing this application was a really rewarding experience. Not only did I gain technical experience in writing my own face detection library, I learned about the value of polish, patience, and of sharing your work to get feedback. For a full story about the development process for the application, please see a blog post I wrote detailing the story of Headshot.

While this application was a solo endeavour, my boyfriend David and I have written several applications for Windows phone and Windows 8 as part of Electric Squash Studios. Collectively, our applications have over half a million downloads, headshot alone makes up half of these downloads.