Facial recognize this: Privacy visor foils computer’s ability to read your face

near-infrared privacy visor

Paranoid about stores, banks, and airlines recognizing your face and recording your spending habits or social network activities the moment you step into a venue? Strap this privacy visor on and you’ll become virtually undetectable by computers. Who’s smarter now, robots?

The privacy visor prototype unveiled earlier this week at Tokyo’s National Institute of Informatics, using near-infrared sensors to essentially confuse facial recognition software from, well, recognizing you. In total, the visor sport 11 LED light that surround your main facial features: Eyes and nose. Since the infrared sensors sit on the visor before your eyes, the lights won’t do much to affect your vision and instead obscure camera sensors from reading your face.

Privacy visor“As a result of developments in facial recognition technology in Google images, Facebook, etc. and the popularization of portable terminals that append photos with photographic information [geotags]… essential measures for preventing the invasion of privacy caused by photographs taken in secret and unintentional capture in camera images is now required,” Professor Isao Echizen of the privacy visor design team explained.

While there are no words on whether the privacy visors will ever hit the market, BBC does advise cheap alternatives for those who still don’t want stores and banks creeping around with your face.

“Heavy make-up or a mask will also work, as will tilting your head at a 15-degree angle, which fools the software into thinking you do not have a face, according to an online guide produced by hacktivist group Anonymous,” the article says. Now envision yourself walking into every store in the mall with your head lopsided or pretending to attend a masquerade ball. To that, we bid good luck to you, paranoid friends. The privacy visor will work fashionable well with those handcrafted tinfoil hats we know you have hiding in your bedside drawer.

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