Discovering what you’ll look like when you’re older may be something you’re happy to leave until you’re forced to find out. But if you’re curious about whether you’ll look more like Uncle Fester than Aunt Gladys in the future (especially if you smoke or spend a lot of time in the sun), technology -- online and in apps for your smartphone -- can help.
Here are a few websites to try:
www.age-me.com: Aprilage is photo-aging software developed in the late 1990s, in collaboration with the Ontario Science Centre in Toronto, Canada. Based on studying the effect of time on thousands of real subjects, the program has been used by police departments, anti-smoking campaigns in school boards, and television special effects departments around the world.
The site lets you download a picture online and modify it for a small fee (batch fees available). You can then age your photo with or without additional external factors like smoking, sun exposure showing photoaging, and weight gain (ie: shifts in BMI).
www.in20years.com: Lets you upload a photo with or without the added aging effects of a drug addiction. Also available as an app for your iPhone or iPad.
Face of the Future: Free online tool developed at the University of St. Andrews in Scotland.
While fast-forwarding the aging process can be a fun (or frightening!) party game, there’s research evidence that seeing your future self this way can help jumpstart healthy behaviors (like quitting smoking) in the present.
Carine Weiss, Dirk Hanebuth, Paola Coda, Julia Dratva, Margit Heintz, and Elisabeth Zemp Stutz. “Aging Images as a Motivational Trigger for Smoking Cessation in Young Women.” Int J Environ Res Public Health. 2010 September; 7(9): 3499–3512.