Glasses to Make the Wearer Invisible to Facial Recognition Technology

Privacy goggles

#Future

Fri, Jan 25th, 2013 11:00 by capnasty NEWS

With our world slowly approaching the future portrayed in The Minority Report, facial recognition technology has "prompted widespread privacy concerns." To overcome this issue, Japanese researchers have come up with a prototype that quite literally shields your face in the face of cameras.

Isao Echizen, an associate professor at Tokyo's National Institute of Informatics, and Seiichi Gohshi, a professor at Kogakuin University, were wary of these developments--and decided to take action. After months of research, the duo invented a pair of high-tech glasses that emit a near infrared light to block face recognition cameras. It was their goal to counter what they call the "invasion of privacy caused by photographs taken in secret."

The glasses, currently in prototype form, are hardly what you would term stylish. They are essentially a pair of clunky-looking lab goggles. Attached to them are small circular lights that, when turned on, are visible only to cameras. They are connected to a wire and a battery that you have to carry in your pocket. But though the design might require a few tweaks, the concept has been attracting significant attention in Japan, where it has been featured on TV.

Echizen tells me he's received offers from companies that want to work toward commercializing the visors in the future. "We are developing an improved version of the privacy visor without power supply consisting of transparent materials that reflect or absorb specific wavelength," he says. He predicts that the final product will be cheap, too--costing "around $1 per unit."

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