The rapid rise of facial recognition technology has prompted widespread privacy concerns. But now Japanese researchers have developed a tool aimed at countering the surveillance tactic—the world’s first “privacy visor.”
Isao Echizen, an associate professor at Tokyo’s National Institute of Informatics, and Seiichi Gohshi, a professor at Kogakuin University, were wary of these developments—and decided to take action. After months of research, the duo invented a pair of high-tech glasses that emit a near infrared light to block face recognition cameras. It was their goal to counter what they call the “invasion of privacy caused by photographs taken in secret.”
The glasses, currently in prototype form, are hardly what you would term stylish. They are essentially a pair of clunky-looking lab goggles. Attached to them are small circular lights that, when turned on, are visible only to cameras. They are connected to a wire and a battery that you have to carry in your pocket. But though the design might require a few tweaks, the concept has been attracting significant attention in Japan, where it has been featured on TV.