New “invisibility glasses” could disrupt facial recognition technology, developers claim

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Antivirus software developers AVG have announced the development of a very innovative product designed to help users maintain their online anonymity – the “invisibility glasses”.

Developed by AVG Innovation Labs, the glasses help protect one’s visual identity in the digital age. Through a mixture of technology and specialist materials, privacy wearables such as invisibility glasses can make it difficult for cameras or other facial recognition technologies to get a clear view of one’s identity.

While the technology behind invisibility glasses is still in the prototype phase, there are generally two different methods of combatting unwanted facial recognition: Infrared Light and Retro-reflective Materials.

The use of infrared light to break facial detection software was first introduced Isao Echizen of Tokyo Nation Institute of Informatics.

The idea is to place infrared LEDs inserted around the eyes and the nose areas. Since the infrared lights are completely invisible to human eyes, they are only detectable by cameras which are sensitive to the wavelengths of these LEDs.

Retro-reflective materials help maintain privacy at the moment that the image is actually taken.

While most surfaces reflect light by diffusing or scattering it in all directions, retro-reflective materials are specially designed to reflect light back at the same angle as it arrived.

If caught in flash photography, retro-reflective materials will send most of the light back to the sensor. This will result in an image that will put the Dynamic Range of the camera sensor to test.

The implications of using such items can be really serious, since they could potentially disrupt systems designed to enforce security.

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