Those who are deeply disturbed with the growing use of facial recognition technology both online and IRL will be pleased to know that some Japanese scientists have created a pair of glasses that can prevent your mug from being identified by it!
Isao Echizen, an associate professor at Tokyo’s national Institute of Informatics worked with Professor Seiichi Gohshi from Kogakuin University to create the glasses that use near-infrared light sources to stop the wearer being identified without impairing their vision!
The glasses’ power source is a battery pack that the wearer carries in the pocket, however the researchers are currently working on an improved “privacy visor” which would have a self-contained battery.
Professor Echizen said the goal of the technology is to protect “photographed subjects from the invasion of privacy caused by photographs taken in secret and unintentional capture in camera images.”
He was inspired to create the device after discovering that the type of facial recognition software used by Google was so accurate that it could identify individuals wearing 5 different types of sunglasses, from several different angles.
In recent years, the use of facial recognition technology has increased dramatically. It is extensively used by law enforcement services, search engines and social media networks. More recently, it has even been harnessed by retailers in a bid to collect data about their customers.
You’d think that technology able to counter the best facial recognition software in the world, would set you back quite a few bob, wouldn’t you? But with these glasses that doesn’t seem to be case, as the inventors say that when the product is mass produced, they expect it to be priced very reasonably – somewhere in the region of $1 a pair!
So it won’t just be crime lords or rich hackers on the run from the FBI who will be able to afford a pair!
The only problem I can foresee is that wearing them in busy public places will alert the hundreds of people in your eyeline to the fact that you are trying to hide from facial recognition software. All you need is one ham-fisted vigilante to think you are a criminal super-villain rather than a privacy advocate and you’ve had it. If you are a super-villain, then it won’t matter so much, as I assume you’ll have your own henchmen well able to deal with the threat!