The world’s first pair of glasses which prevent facial recognition by cameras are currently under development by Japan’s National Institute of Informatics.
Photos taken without people’s knowledge can violate privacy. For example, photos may be posted online, along with metadata including the time and location. But by wearing this device, you can stop your privacy from being infringed in such ways.
“You can try wearing sunglasses. But sunglasses alone can’t prevent face detection. Because face detection uses features like the eyes and nose, it’s hard to prevent just by concealing your eyes. This is the privacy visor I have developed, which uses 11 near-infrared LEDs. I’m switching it on now. It prevents face detection, like this," said an institute spokesperson.
“Light from these near-infrared LEDs can’t be seen by the human eye, but when it passes through a camera’s imaging device, it appears bright. The LEDs are installed in these locations because, a feature of face detection is, the eyes and part of the nose appear dark, while another part of the nose appears bright. So, by placing light sources mostly near dark parts of the face, we’ve succeeded in canceling face detection characteristics, making face detection fail," said the spokesperson.
Compared with previous ways of physically hiding the face, this technology can protect privacy without obstructing communication, as all users need to do is wear a pair of glasses.
However, because this system utilizes the difference in spectral sensitivity between human vision and imaging devices, another method is needed for cameras that aren’t affected by infrared light.
“In that regard, what we’re thinking of is a visor that doesn’t use electricity, but uses reflective material. For example, one like this. This makes light from outside look white, or absorbs it. That pattern breaks up the features used in face detection. So you can prevent face detection even without using electricity, by wearing this visor. It is also very cheap to make,” said the institute spokesperson.© Akihabara News