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Privacy glasses screw with facial recognition systems

Prototype glasses equipped with near-infrared LEDs can fend off facial recognition systems by blinding them with science.

Privacy glasses
They may not be stylin', but they are a privacy enhancement.
National Institute of Informatics

Foiling facial recognition systems that identify people based on photographs may be as simple as wearing a special set of glasses equipped with near-infrared LEDs powered by a battery pack. The LEDs are arranged around the nose and eyes. The human eye can't pick up the near-infrared, but a camera sees it as bright light, enough to obscure the face and confuse facial recognition software.

Researchers with the National Institute of Informatics and Kogakuin University in Japan developed the special privacy visor to counteract photographs and facial recognition software that could invade privacy. Details on the glasses were released late last year, but a prototype got a public showing at a recent open house.

In their current form, the glasses aren't exactly high-fashion. They look more like safety goggles created for some long-lost retro "Tron" fan-movie and would make quite a stunning statement if paired with an anti-drone hoodie or burqa.

Though there's been no word on when the glasses could see commercialization, eventually this technology could be shrunken down into a better-looking and more portable package. Still, the concept isn't perfect. Some cameras aren't affected by the near-infrared light, so the researchers are also looking into reflective material that could have a similar effect. The ultimate solution may involve a combination of technologies working together for privacy.

(Via DigInfo TV)