Glasses that ‘block’ facial recognition technology to launch in 2016

Glasses that are capable of blocking facial recognition technology are to go on sale in Japan next year.

Glasses that are capable of blocking facial recognition technology are to go on sale in Japan next year.

State-of-the-art glasses that prevent facial recognition technology from capturing images of people will be available for purchase in Japan from June next year, it has been revealed.

Developed by researchers at the National Institute of Informatics in Tokyo, the pioneering glasses come equipped with special lenses that are designed to reflect and absorb light in such a way that it prevents cameras from registering the wearer’s profile.

The glasses, dubbed the Privacy Visor, will provisionally cost around ¥30,000 (approximately $240).

Tests carried out by researchers at the institute found that the devices are able to disrupt the recognition capabilities of facial recognition software 90 per cent of the time.

Its principal designer, Isao Echizen, said in an interview with the Wall Street Journal that the Privacy Visor is “the world’s first product with this technology.”

The inspiration behind the glasses, the expert explained, is to help ordinary people preserve their anonymity in an age where facial recognition technology is so ubiquitous, many are unaware that their image is being captured.

Prof Echizen added: “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.”

Prototypes of the state-of-the-art wearable tech were first announced at the end of 2012.

These devices came with 11 near-infrared LED lights, which, when activated, prevented facial recognition software from recognising that the subject was in fact a person.

However, while the technology was effective, it was somewhat clunky and poorly designed. The latest version is slimmer, more stylish and in place of the LED lights is a unspecified material that is built directly into the glasses lenses.

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