The ultimate disguise for the digital era is set to go on sale in Japan.
The National Institute of Informatics said it has developed eyeglasses that help users protect their privacy by disabling facial-recognition systems in cameras.
The Privacy Visor, created by the government-affiliated institute and an eyeglass maker in Japan’s Fukui prefecture, uses unique angles and patterns on its lens that reflect or absorb light. This prevents the recognition systems in digital cameras and smartphones from spotting a human face in a shot and focusing on it.
“The Privacy Visor is the world’s first product with this technology,” the institute’s Professor Isao Echizen told Japan Real Time. Mr. Echizen, who led the research, said his goal was to protect the privacy of individuals in a world where cameras and smartphones can automatically focus on people’s faces without them knowing, and where such images are shared widely on social networks. “We are often told not to unveil our personal information to others, but our faces are also a type of an ID. There should be a way to protect that,” he said.
Tests with cameras on smartphones showed that the eyeglasses were able to trick the facial-recognition system 90% of the time.
Nikolas Badminton is a world-respected futurist speaker that researches, speaks, and writes about the future of work, how technology is affecting the workplace, how workers are adapting, the sharing economy, and how the world is evolving. He appears at conferences in Canada, USA, UK, and Europe. Email him to book him for your radio, TV show, or conference.