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Google Glass Knows Who You Are

July 18th, 2013 - 3:58 pm

Can Google Glass be hacked to include facial recognition? Of course:

At Philz Coffee in Palo Alto, Calif., a kid who looks like he should still be in high school is sitting across from me. He’s wearing Google Glass. As I stare into the device’s cyborg eye, I’m waiting for its tiny screen to light up.

Then, I wait for a signal that Google Glass has recognized my face.

It isn’t supposed to do that, but Stephen Balaban has hacked it.

“Essentially what I am building is an alternative operating system that runs on Glass but is not controlled by Google,” he said.

How long before wearing them becomes mandatory?

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All Comments   (3)
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Rinse and repeat.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
Well... that would be a little far-reaching even for the Obama administration. The only conceivable reason that that would be useful to the government is if you could process in real-time the video information from every Google glass device active in certain areas. From a technical perspective, that gives us some time... I don't think our networks are anywhere close to being able to handle streaming data transfer from all users at once, and I doubt even PRISM can muster a server farm capable of looking for information in thousands of streaming videos on a real-time basis. Computationally, it's far more complicated and intensive than searching for key-words in e-mails or collating meta-data into contact networks.

That said, I fully expect that federal officers at least, and very possibly police could be suited with these things... even if they have to develop a custom OS to do it. It might be too tempting to resist. There is an exception case, though. I'll talk about that in a moment.

What I'd like to stress primarily that this is not the technology's fault. These programs only need a certain amount of processing power and a camera... that the camera is mounted on someone's face in this case is irrelevant. It may even be the reason that Glass is NOT implemented by government agencies, if indeed it isn't. These cameras are compact... it is not very challenging to come up with one that can be more discretely concealed on a lapel. Even when most people are aware of such cameras, making them large and obvious will just tip off the people who aren't.

What I'm getting at, here, is that this evolution has nothing to do with Glass. Glass is just a more convenient place to locate the screen and camera of a smartphone. The ways that this can be abused do not require what Glass does, and arguably would work better if implemented without Glass.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
Bill, you're missing one small thing. The GG is doing the facial recognition, not the cloud. Facial recognition on his "ALTERNATIVE operating system" must be handled locally, it isn't yet a GG OS feature. Tag the faces to a built in list (SSN's are only 9 digit identifiers) then regularly send in your 'ssn + long + latitude + time' and you have it with far, far less data than facial recognition data.

Actually, you could easily fit it in one tweet, which is a single IP packet. You could change the 'ssn' tag from assigned letters to the real ssn as soon as Eric Holder hears about your project. Our hero would only need to upload each face's recognition data, at home and overnight, to get each one tagged with an accurate SSN. Real time facial data flow is not needed.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
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