Google Glass to recognize you by your FASHION SENSE
'I'm not staring at your butt, my spatiogram analysis system is'
The überhyped Google Glass augmented-reality specs will take a step beyond mere facial recognition technology, and recognize you not only by your features, but by what you're wearing.
The technology to be incorporated into Google's geeky goggles is called InSight, and was developed by Srihari Nelakuditi of the University of South Carolina, reports New Scientist in its March 9 issue.
The problem that Nelakuditi sought to solve is that facial recognition is all well and good if a subject is looking directly into a camera, but when you're wearing Google Glass you might find yourself scanning an entire crowd, searching for someone who may or may not be looking directly at you.
In a partnership with Romit Roy Choudhury and his crew at Durham, North Carolina's Duke University, Nelakuditi developed a recognition system that recognizes not your mug, but instead your "fashion fingerprint" – what you're wearing, including your clothing, jewelry, glasses, and the like. And, somewhat ominously for secure areas, your badge.
The group's prototype used a smartphone app to snap pictures of its subjects while they were web browsing, emailing, and the like, then used those images to create a spatiogram – esentially a histogram with added spatial-context information – that contained information on the distribution of colors, patterns, and textures of those subjects' garb.
Those spatiograms were then fed into a Google Glass headset and used to pick people out of a crowd. Even when the targets had their backs were to the camera, the system was 93 per cent successful in early testings with 15 different subjects.
InSight, disappointingly, won't flash snarky value judgments about a person's sartorial sophistication onto your Google Glass eyepiece – but what's a third-party app ecosystem for, eh?
There's one small drawback to the InSight echnology, however: people change their clothes. If your spatiogram was developed when you were wearing, say, a loud Hawaiian shirt, it's not going to identify you when you next appear in a Zuckerbergian hoodie.
"A person's visual fingerprint is only temporary, say for a day or an evening," Nelakuditi told New Scientist.
Maybe so – but we suggest that the spatiograms of such a-fashionistas as Chairman Mao, Larry Fine of The Three Stooges, many a black-shirted emo kid, and your decidedly dowdy and unimaginatively conventional Reg reporter might be reasonably consistent on a longer-term basis.
For that matter, you might be able to skip recalibrating your InSight-equipped Google Glass entirely during your next holiday at Southern California's famous Glen Eden nudist resort. ®
To quote Frank Skinner (not exact wording):
"They used to have adverts in comics for x-ray specs. They would have a picture of some kid looking at the bones in his hand. If I had some I wouldn't be looking at my hand, after a few days everyone would be able to see the bones in my hand".
In a near future
You friend Adam was walking through the square and his Google Glasses tagged you in a romantic embrace with someone who was not your wife. Here's the top ten list of divorce lawyers in your area..."
You asked for alerts on Bill from our social feed. Bill was tagged by Charlie (not in your circles) passed out and vomiting on the pavement just outside a bar. Here is a top ten list of employment lawyers that you associated with this alert."
Adam (not in your circles) tagged Charlie in a romantic embrace with someone that was not you. Here's the top ten list of divorce lawyers in your area..."
You appear to be passed out and drunk on the pavement. Here is the nearest AA meeting <details> and here is the top ten list of employment agencies in your area...you're going to need them!"
Seriously...Google Glasses are a threat to our anonymity, our privacy (even in a public place) and our society. "Don't be evil" my arse. Google are now a greater threat than MS and FB combined.
Why not a link to a web data base ((Facebook perhaps) and with facial recognition and tagging that will automatically pull up compromising or naked pictures of who you are looking at. Of course the software will necessitate a male female filter just in case.
Now where can I buy one.
What they really need is software that will tell them who is likely to smash them in the face for wearing GGs.
I can see some interesting lawsuits coming up when people in a bar for instance request the wearer to remove their GGs, only for the wearer to refuse on the grounds that the bar doesn't have a warning sign, as in http://www.theregister.co.uk/2013/03/09/seattle_bar_bans_google_glass/.
IMHO there doesn't need to be a sign, the fact that it is not in the street is sufficient for anyone to expect a right of privacy.
You're doing it wrong. I do not want your glasses to look at what women^W people are wearing, I want them to look at (and show me) what's underneath their clothing. For scientific research purposes, doncherknow.