Turn your visage into a realtime stream of retro ASCII art.

A newly available web app created by Eric Fredericksen is a refreshing bit of harmless and geeky fun. The program simply connects with your webcam and turns the feed into a stream of text characters such as asterisks and colons in real-time, creating an outline of the object in the camera’s feed. Users have mainly opted to transform their faces, the results of which can be downloaded and kept as a GIF series or as a greeting card.

The app works via the American Standard Code for Information Interchange (ASCII), which is a character-encoding system originally based on the whole of the English alphabet. It has the ability to encode 128 specified characters including the numbers 0-9, the letters a-z in upper and lower case and simple punctuation symbols. Check out the Reddit thread here, and try your turn at creating a piece of your own web art by visiting the app’s website.

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