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.
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 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.