Our research partners over at Infinita dug-up a great little nugget here today, a cool new service called Koacheki or Face Check. Launched by J-Magic just one month ago the site has already registered an incredible 15 million requests! Based on face-recognition software announced by Oki Electric late last year, the company scans photos submitted from users cellphones and responds with a link to review their top three celebrity matches. A simple yet brilliant way to gather a massive marketing mail list for advertisers and other more advanced services that J-Magic offers.
According to this post:
Simply email a picture of your face, your friend’s or whoever else’s from your mobile to email@example.com (for men), firstname.lastname@example.org (for women) or email@example.com (if you don’t really know) – a few seconds later, you’ll receive an email with a link to a page that lists your similarity to three celebrities expressed in percentages (which you can, of course, immediately share with your friends). For example, I look 23% like Japanese actor called Eiji Wentz, who is a quarter German (which I found a bit creepy…how can this thing tell I’m German??). The whole thing is based on a face recognition engine developed by OKI Electric Co., which is usually employed for less prosaic purposes (read: security applications).
Now, why is J-Magic doing all this? For one, having 15 million users’ email addresses and the kind of traffic kaocheki.jp has is a very nice base to run an advertising business model on. Secondly and more importantly, J-Magic also runs eyenowa.jp, a mobile search engine running on image analysis technology (think: send in a picture of anything and we’ll link you to more information on that), which they cross-promote on kaocheki.jp: By leveraging the gimmicky Face Check service, J-Magic is able to drive users to a more advanced product. Clearly, there is a lot of potential in eyenowa for mobile marketing purposes, and J-Magic says they have already signed up two big clients for campaigns.
One would think this kind of service offering could easily work almost anywhere..