April 3, 2013 -
China’s largest search engine, Baidu, is reported developing digital eyewear similar to the Google glass project, though this Chinese iteration reportedly leverages Baidu’s strengths in facial recognition.
As we’ve mentioned in BIometricUpdate.com, Google Glass is a wearable computer product that sits on a user’s face like a pair of glasses. The company has been flaunting prototypes and demonstration videos for quite some time, and many in the online community are desperate to get their hands on this latest gadget.
Many have argued that facial recognition is something that Google Glass should feature, though privacy in that case would undoubtedly be an issue, and besides, it looks like Google has found a way around analyzing faces for identification.
Reported by Thomas Claburn in InformationWeek, “Google recently awarded a research grant to support ongoing work on a project called InSight that enables individuals to be identified by their visual fingerprint, calculated through assessments of clothing colors, body structure and motion patterns.”
According to the report, the company awarded the grant after researchers submitted a proposal that focused on how the technology could enhance Project Glass. As Claburn suggests, this could be a feasible integration as “Google may be wary of adding a facial recognition system to Project Glass […] due to privacy implications.”
Reported by Reuters, a Baidu spokesman confirmed the company’s recent project, though said it was unclear if the product will ever be commercialized. Known internatlly as project Baidu Eye, the device will be mounted on a headset with a small LCD screen, and will allow users to make image and voice searches as well as to conduct facial recognition matches.
It has been widely acknowledged that the next round of smartphones will incorporate biometrics, as the accessibility and portability of these technologies is now at a point to support mass adoption. In a recent Biometric Research Note, the research group estimates that “U.S. consumers will use smartphones and tablet computers to make retail purchases of approximately US$35 billion this year, compared with US$20 billion in 2012.”