New prototype glasses protect you from facial recognition scanners

Jan 22, 2013
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In a world where facial recognition is becoming more and more prevalent, more and more citizens are concerned about their privacy, and with good reason. However, National Institute of Informatics professor Isao Echizen has created what's called the “Privacy Visor”, which are essentially a pair of glasses that fool most facial recognition scanners.

The glasses emit a near-infrared set of LEDs that block facial recognition cameras from identifying wearers. According to Echizen, the glasses are the answer to what he refers to as the “invasion of privacy caused by photographs taken in secret.” Facial recognition software collects a lot of data about patrons. Not only can it identify you, but it can also figure out your body type and age.

These prototype glasses aren't the most appealing, and they likely won’t be adopted by the masses, but if the idea takes off, we may see versions that are much smaller and more stylish than the ones we're seeing today. Plus, in order to keep the LED lights on and working for this prototype privacy visor, you have to carry around a small power supply in your pocket.

Echizen says that he’s already received offers from companies that want to work toward mass-producing the visors in the future. Echizen says that he and his development team are working on "an improved version of the privacy visor without power supply consisting of transparent materials that reflect or absorb specific wavelength."


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