June 17, 2013 -
The Google Glass facial recognition saga continues.
A new service, called Rekognition has recently been launched by San Francisco-based computer vision company, Orbeus, which seemingly avoids Google’s recent ban on facial recognition, as it analyzes faces, but doesn’t identify faces.
According to a TechNewsDaily report, Orbeus has also built software capable of recognizing faces, objects and background scenery. In addition, an Asian dating site uses the Rekognition service to screen the faces of its users according to age, gender and beauty. The service has also been used to target ads to shoppers, based on demographic identification.
“We believe the ban on facial recognition is going to be temporary,” Ning Xu, CEO of Orbeus said in the TechNewsDaily report. “The simple reason is that the technology is useful.”
As we’ve reported previously, Google’s recent wearable computing and augmented reality device, Google Glass, has many developers of facial recognition software itching to build integrations.
Earlier this month, Google made an official announcement to indicate that facial recognition features will not be added Google Glass.
The assertion came from the company as there has been growing interest as well as concern for the integration of facial recognition.
Recently, 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.
Lambda Labs, another San Francisco startup, is preparing to release a facial recognition API for developers working on apps for Google Glass.
In a statement in the New York Times, Steve Lee, the director of product management for Google Glass said, “we’ve consistently said that we won’t add new face recognition features to our services unless we have strong privacy protections in place.”
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.