May 23, 2013 -
TechCrunch is reporting that Lambda Labs, a San Francisco startup, is preparing to release a facial recognition API for developers working on Google Glass apps.
According to the article, the API will be available within a week.
Facial recognition is Lambda’s focus and its API is already used by 1,000 developers, including international firms.
Early adopters are starting to get their hands on Google Glass, though as of yet, the device isn’t widely available. Seeing as it’s a wearable computer which sits on the user’s face, facial recognition and object recognition – as users look at people or objects – is an obvious application, though this idea has ruffled some feathers in the privacy community.
Just last week, members of Congress wrote a letter to Google’s Chief Executive, Larry Page, asking questions about whether Google Glass will “infringe on the privacy of the average American.” This letter contained eight listed questions, and among them was whether the wearable device will have facial recognition capabilities. This can’t be something Google didn’t anticipate, and the company’s InSight project could be proof.
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.”
As the TechCrunch report notes, Google’s API policies don’t appear to prohibit facial recognition.
Reported previously in BiometricUpdate.com, Baidu is developing a wearable product similar to Google Glass, though this spin-off reportedly makes use of Baidu’s existing facial recognition capacities.