Japan Puts Facial Recognition on Ice

In the tech field, Japan has long been known for their innovations. It would seem the (Japanese) Empire finally strikes back at facial recognition software with Japan’s National Institute of Informatics Privacy Visor. For those unaware, facial recognition software is being used by an increasing number companies including social media these days. For privacy-minded individuals, the unauthorized data collection via facial recognition isĀ  being spied on. Japan has developed a way to mostly stop this from happening.

What is the Privacy Visor, you may ask? It is a way of defeating 90% of facial recognition software. The prototype of this technology originally used near infrared LEDs to confuse the camera. It was also battery powered, and had to be used actively. In other words, it had to be turned on and off.

The latest version of this technology though, is not quite as nerdy. The institute has abandoned the active model to go with a passive one. Instead of using LEDs, they have gone with “unspecified materials” that are used to reflect the light back. This makes the glasses far more practical and easily used. The visor absorbs and reflects light in different angles than normal, so think of it as stealth technology for your face.

And yes, it does work. Tests indicate the new version of these stylish glasses will still block 90% of the software. In a country that is known for fads and gimmicks, it is nice to see that research has led down this path. Privacy is not something that will quickly go away, so we can hope to see more of these types of devices. Since Japan is highly competitive, there are sure to be better and cheaper versions to come out.

The visor should be available on the market in June of 2016 with a price point of around $240. Sadly, we must all wait until then to regain our privacy and take back something many feel was stolen from us. Like we said, it is nice to see technology being used for the good of the people. Clearly, there are still some Jwith a fighting spirit.