Protecting your privacy can be a difficult task in today’s world of information technology. With surveillance cameras on every corner and a recording device on every smartphone, there’s a good chance your image has been captured somewhere without you even knowing it. Safeguarding your mug in the future is set to become even more difficult with advancements in facial recognition technologies and wearable computers like Google Glass.
So what can you do to ensure your identity remains intact? In Western countries the answer would be simple: put on a pair of sunglasses. In Japan, however, sunglasses are a much less common sight, and many consider them to be worn only by those trying a little too hard to look cool, and in more extreme cases associate them with the yakuza lifestyle. Researchers at the National Institute of Informatics in Tokyo have addressed this issue by designing a non-threatening pair of white shades to protect both your identity and your public image, dubbing them the “Privacy Visor”.
Covered in rows of tiny white dots, these sunglasses certainly look a quite unusual, but apparently there’s a lot of science behind their design.
The aim of the glasses is to stop cameras and facial recognition systems from locking in on your eyes, thereby hindering their ability to focus successfully on your facial features.
Researchers at the institute designed a prototype last year that used LED lights inside the glasses to block out the user’s eyes on screen.
This year’s version is eminently more wearable, at least in an office setting, and seems to perform just as well when those pesky cameras lock onto your face.
Researcher Isao Echizen says the glasses provide the same type of shade that you would get from a regular pair of sunglasses.
By addressing the needs of the consumer, Mr Echizen and his team might very well be on their way to designing a new style of sunglasses for the future. We’re interested to see what modifications they’ll make to the new design and what they’ll have in store for us come 2014.
Source: TV Tokyo
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