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AVG's magic glasses make you invisible to facial recognition software

AVG's magic glasses make you i...
AVG has created a prototype pair of glasses that it says can stop facial recognition systems from identifying an individual
AVG has created a prototype pair of glasses that it says can stop facial recognition systems from identifying an individual
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AVG has created a prototype pair of glasses that it says can stop facial recognition systems from identifying an individual
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AVG has created a prototype pair of glasses that it says can stop facial recognition systems from identifying an individual
AVG says that infrared LEDs embedded around the eyes and nose can "break face detection when the lights are on"
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AVG says that infrared LEDs embedded around the eyes and nose can "break face detection when the lights are on"
AVG says that retro-reflective materials can also beat facial recognition software by reflecting light directly back at the camera lens
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AVG says that retro-reflective materials can also beat facial recognition software by reflecting light directly back at the camera lens
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We've all become used to facial recognition technology helping us to tag our friends in photos online. There may be times, however, that you don't want to be recognized like this. With that in mind, security firm AVG has unveiled a prototype pair of glasses that combat facial recognition systems.

There are certainly useful applications for facial recognition. It's widely used as a means of unlocking mobile devices nowadays and Volvo is using it to detect when drivers become tired or inattentive. As AVG points out, however, individuals might reasonably want to avoid being tagged in unsolicited photos, appearing in big data projects such as Google's Street View or having corporations cross-reference their face against other information that can be found online.

AVG says that infrared LEDs embedded around the eyes and nose can "break face detection when the lights are on"
AVG says that infrared LEDs embedded around the eyes and nose can "break face detection when the lights are on"

In order to beat facial recognition technology, AVG says its glasses use a mixture of technology and specialist materials.

Embedded infrared LEDs around the eyes and nose areas of the glasses flummox facial recognition software, whilst the infrared light remains invisible to human eyes. Additionally, retro-reflective materials reflect any light back in direction from which it came. This can be employed when flash photography has been used.

AVG says that retro-reflective materials can also beat facial recognition software by reflecting light directly back at the camera lens
AVG says that retro-reflective materials can also beat facial recognition software by reflecting light directly back at the camera lens

AVG says its "invisibility glasses" are merely a proof-of-concept at the moment, designed as part of an effort to examine ways in which privacy can be protected. That there are no plans to bring them to market.

Source: AVG

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8 comments
flylowguy
I have a feeling this might not be good for human eyes. I tried some experiments with UV LED's and found that using enough power to overcome digital camera sensors' ability to focus and photograph a car license plate probably exceeded the eyes safe range. In some cases, it even damaged or destroyed the cameras CMOS sensor.
Tom Swift
Oh, that's how they work. I assumed they just made you look so butt ugly even your mother wouldn't recognize you.
John Proffer
in other words, AVG is scared of government retaliation.
ei3io
If they don't come to market you can bet that all the scum bags out there up to no good and wanting to get away with it will be stopping by AVG for a few pairs,, ready or not. ;-(
Curtis
Unfortunately there's software that can still recognize the unmasked parts of your face and ID you regardless. You don't need glasses... just clip a high-powerd IR emitter & tiny battery pack to the brim of your ball cap, headband or most any wearable near your face and it will blast-out your entire head : ) Curtis
pmshah
This may work on streets and other crowded ares. Try these on at an airport and you will have jillion Homeland Security Agents on your butt. BTW digital camera / smartphone cameras are one way to test your remote controls.
Gonzo_the_Magnificent
Props to AVG for doing this. I think they're using Reflect-All paint to make those glasses reflect light.
KevinMcLauchlan
If they could tone down the butt-ugly aspect, I'd buy a pair of the AVG privacy glasses.
I would also like to know what you could add to the walls of your house or apartment (minimum effective dose, as it were...) that could diffuse IR, so that anybody viewing with an IR scope/camera from outside would just see a room-sized wash of false color, rather than the shapes, locations, and [larger] motions of the people and animals within.
These days, even some of the middlin' IR cameras used by home inspectors and energy auditors can show an image detailed enough to distinguish you from your girl-friend, through a solid wall.
Privacy ain't what it used to be.