Gear | October 23, 2017 9:00 am

Wanna See a Picture of Your Unborn Child?

A new app claims it can profile your kids before they're born

Something special for those of us who’ve seen Gattaca: A new service can conjure up an image of your unborn kidBabyGlimpse (nope, that name is not at all terrifying, not one bit) requires prospective parents to supply some spit to the company — which will, in turn, use their individual genetic make-up to create an image of a third, entirely new person. It’s basically a cross between procreation and what every caricaturist, intent on torturing dating teenagers, has done for decades: put the, let’s say, “essential essence” of two people into a blender and illustrated the results. 

BabyGlimpse is brought to us by HumanCode, a company that (a) does not like spaces between word but (b) does like “building apps that empower people through next-gen DNA sequencing.” (Again, not at all terrifying.) HumanCode says it’s dedicated to exploring the “brighter side of genetics” (NOT AT ALL TERRIFYING) but also lists some possible subjects of genetic investigation: 

  • Appearance
  • Sleep
  • Diet
  • Ancestry
  • Athletics
  • More
  • Intellect

(Bullets theirs.)

Few people quarrel with parents over testing for serious genetic disorders. And a saliva test that results in a preview of your kid’s face — big deal. But it seems possible, and worth considering, that in a generation or two we’ll look back at this time, on the edge of Earth-shattering advances in this kind of technology, like we did below Oppenheimer became death, destroyer of worlds.