Google Glass will pick out your pals by what they're wearing

A program is in the works that'll let Google's tech specs find your friends by recognising what they're wearing.

Is there no end to Google Glass ' skills? The search giant's tech specs can already scour the Internet and overlay information on your view of the street, and now they'll be able to find your friends by what they're wearing.

The program is called Insight, and will be used to pick people out of a crowd, even when they're not looking at you, New Scientist reports. It was part-funded by Google, so compatibility shouldn't be an issue, and uses a "fashion fingerprint" of someone's outfit. Better fix up, look sharp, then.

It's the brainchild of Srihari Nelakuditi at the University of South Carolina in Columbia, who teamed up with Romit Roy Choudhury and his colleagues at Duke University in North Carolina. It uses a smart phone app to take snaps of your chum, then makes a spatiogram -- a file that captures the spatial distribution of colours, textures and patterns of their togs. This unique combination of colours, textures and patterns makes them easier to identify over long distances, or from odd viewing angles.

Of course it only works as long as they wear the same outfit, so you'll have to snap them again if they change. Which shouldn't be an issue with some of my friends.

In early tests, participants picked out the right buddy 93 per cent of the time, even when they had their back to the person wearing the headset.

Google Glass should be on sale by the end of the year , and cost around £1,000. Facebook's Mark Zuckerbeg is chomping at the bit , as am I. But not everyone is keen. A dive bar in Seattle has already posted a note warning customers they'll have to remove the specs if they come in for a pint, citing privacy issues. Mark Hurst over at Creative Good is also weary, warning that soon everyone will be videoing each other without anyone knowing. You won't be able to step out of your house without being papped, he warns.

Is that going too far? Or is there a dark underbelly to Google Glass? Let me know in the comments, or on Facebook.

About the author

    Joe has been writing about consumer tech for nearly seven years now, but his liking for all things shiny goes back to the Gameboy he received aged eight (and that he still plays on at family gatherings, much to the annoyance of his parents). His pride and joy is an Infocus projector, whose 80-inch picture elevates movie nights to a whole new level.


    Discuss Google Glass will pick out your pals by what...

    Conversation powered by Livefyre

    This week on CNET News
    Hot Products
    Trending on CNET

    CNET Forums

    Looking for tech help?

    Whether you’re looking for dependable tech advice or offering helpful tricks, join the conversation in our forums.