Jo Overline and Ryan Allen formed Dapper Gentlemen, which is based in Gilbert, with a number of apps in mind. Just for fun, the two self-described nerds put together the Ugly Meter. The app allows your phone to use a number of parameters to give your picture a once-over and then announce, on a scale of zero to 10, how ugly it is. Zero is super sexy; 10 is the ugliest.
The app's tag line is, "When your friends won't tell you the truth, the Ugly Meter will."
Their just-for-fun project is now selling like crazy worldwide, including in China, where, Overline says, it was the No. 1 iPhone app for three weeks.
But does the Ugly Meter have a dark side?
"It's tough enough being a kid," said Gilbert mother of two Samantha Miller. "And now a phone can tell you how you look?" She said she wouldn't want anyone taking pictures of her children and telling them they're anything but beautiful.
Longtime Gilbert High School Principal J. Charles Santa Cruz says they have a rule forbidding students from taking pictures of others without their permission. Still, he said he wouldn't want the Ugly Meter on his campus. He reminded us that Arizona's teen suicide rate often leads the country and that anything that can cause young people to doubt themselves can be dangerous.
Overline, who is the father of a 5-year-old, doesn't think the Ugly Meter can be harmful to impressionable young minds and adds that they've never received any information that would prove that wrong.
The original Ugly Meter sells for $.99 while the Ugly Meter Pro goes for just under $5.