Privacy visor glasses jam facial recognition systems to protect your privacy


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

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Camera-shy consumers shouldn't get too excited about this. The NPA will move to have them banned at the first hint that these may be used in the commission of a crime. Ooops! Too late.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

who want to buy this ugly glasses.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Coolio doods!

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Infra-red LED's on a choker on your neck will also achieve the same result. Anyway he is using low power LED's.

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Wearing a horse mask works too. Not going out too...

2 ( +2 / -0 )

with all the spying by our governments maybe these will sell a lot.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

don't want to located? throw away your phone.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

I just wear my GWB mask. That way, nobody WANTS to notice me.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

" don't want to located? throw away your phone."

The point is to not be recognized by cameras, thwarting facial recognition.

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there is a money-making idea here

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Camera-shy consumers shouldn't get too excited about this. The NPA will move to have them banned at the first hint that these may be used in the commission of a crime. Ooops! Too late.

No need to ban them. Someone wearing them will be flashing a bright (infra-red) light telling authorities all over the world that, "I need to be investigated to the fullest because I'm trying to hide my identity."

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"don't want to located? throw away your phone"

True, but I suspect they may be aiming this not just at cell phones or camera-enabled PCs, but also perhaps CCTV. In which case, I can see this product not being favored by police agencies.

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