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Hyper-realistic masks - can you tell what's real ?

By T.K. Randall
November 27, 2019 · Comment icon 12 comments

Masks are becoming increasingly convincing. Image Credit: YouTube / University of York
A recent study has shown that masks are becoming so realistic that some people can't even tell the difference.
In the 'Mission:Impossible' movies, super spy Ethan Hunt (played by Tom Cruise) can often be seen fooling his enemies by wearing a mask so real that nobody can tell that it is even a mask at all.

This level of hyper-realism in masks may seem far-fetched, but recent technological advances have made it possible to create real-life masks that could give even Tom Cruise a run for his money.

In a recent study by the Universities of York and Kyoto, researchers presented a number of volunteers with several pairs of photographs - each pair showing one person with a mask and one without.

Remarkably, the participants failed to tell which was which up to 20 percent of the time.
"In our study participants had several advantages over ordinary people in everyday life," said Dr Rob Jenkins. "We made it clear to participants that their task was to identify the mask in each pair of images and we showed them example masks before the test began."

"The real-world error rate is likely to be much higher because many people may not even be aware hyper-realistic masks exist and are unlikely to be looking out for them."

"The current generation of masks is very realistic indeed with most people struggling to tell an artificial face from the real thing."

There have in fact been several prominent criminal cases involving hyper-realistic masks and it is likely that they will become increasingly popular with criminals the more realistic they become.

Eventually, it may become nearly impossible to tell at a glance who is wearing one and who isn't.

Source: York.ac.uk | Comments (12)

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Recent comments on this story
Comment icon #3 Posted by Eldorado 5 years ago
"Hyper-realistic masks are made from flexible materials such as silicone and are designed to imitate real human faces – down to every last freckle, wrinkle and strand of real human hair. "In a study by the Universities of York and Kyoto, researchers asked participants to look at pairs of photographs and decide which showed a normal face and which showed a person wearing a mask. "Surprisingly, participants made the wrong call in one-in-five cases." Full report at York Uni: https://www.york.ac.uk/news-and-events/news/2019/research/hyper-realistic-masks-more-believable-human-faces/ 2mins 11secs... [More]
Comment icon #4 Posted by MissJatti 5 years ago
The only thing I was thinking about during the video is Mrs Doubtfire
Comment icon #5 Posted by Robotic Jew 5 years ago
Tom Cruise has been using these things for years.
Comment icon #6 Posted by moonman 5 years ago
The weird fat face mask in that video isn't convincing at all.
Comment icon #7 Posted by Scholar4Truth 5 years ago
Hello Mrs. Doubtfire   
Comment icon #8 Posted by Chaldon 5 years ago
Fantômas' dream is finally coming true.
Comment icon #9 Posted by Jon the frog 5 years ago
Good enough to fool security camera and probably video recognition software. But face to face...that's a lot harder.
Comment icon #10 Posted by highdesert50 5 years ago
Too much left-right symmetry in the masks making it easier to distinguish the fraud.
Comment icon #11 Posted by Dark_Grey 5 years ago
Nice reference..
Comment icon #12 Posted by jpeniel333 5 years ago
This has got to be a joke, right? Please tell me if any of you would have actually been fooled by this mask in a second.

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