Pic-Poster analyzes faces and image metadata to estimate the subject's age

Analyze digital snapshots to determine individuals' age at the time with this weird but cool tool.

Sometimes we get to try the most unique, unusual, and specialized software. For example, take SoftWeird's Pic-Poster. This unusual free tool analyzes faces and image metadata to estimate an individual's age range, based on initial data you enter. You can post your images online to view or share, too. It works with a wide range of images, but it's meant to be used on digital snapshots of individuals (like newborns) bearing date stamps and other metadata. Its chief purpose seems to be to help busy parents quickly sort through gigabytes of family snapshots without the help of a team of professional archivists and perhaps the Smithsonian (if you want it done this century). Used properly, Pic-Poster actually works, after a fashion.

Pic-Poster's user interface is fairly simple but not especially intuitive, and the interface language seems to have lost something in the translation; many of the commands had confusing syntax (like "Wait sometime") and we saw frequent misspellings. We started by clicking a very long button labeled Load Post Age On All Pictures In a Folder, which actually translates as something like "browse to load images." We did, and our batch of image files appeared in a list view in the program's sidebar, with the first image previewed in the main window.

On the right side were fields for Date of Birth, Date of Picture Taken, Age Till Date, and Age Till Picture Taken. Apparently, Age Till Date means current age, and Age Till Picture Taken means the individual's age when the picture was taken. The program's instructions appeared in a small window labeled Pic-Age Poster Help, which seems to be the same tool by a different name. Basically, the idea is to gather all the images of an individual in a single folder, enter the date of birth, and then wait while Pic-Poster analyzes the images and stamps them with age data, a process that takes some time.

And how does it work? Well, well enough to make this fascinating freeware worth trying, as we discovered with our small sample. For most parents, giving Pic-Poster enough material to work with won't be a problem.

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