If you are following Google's project Glass, then you know that it is going to be one of the most exciting products to hit the market in a decade, and I am not just saying this because of my love of technology or the amazing things I have read about its capabilities – which seem to grow everyday – I am saying this because the device has already been banned several places and it has not yet hit the commercial sales route. When a product can stir up this much controversy before it is even released, I would say Google will have a real hit on its hands…or should I say, face.
Google is understanding enough to release that Glass could be an "invasion of privacy" in some instances, and have forbidden certain applications from its MyGlass application area – facial recognition software is one such instance – but that does not mean that developers will necessarily abide by the rules. Just like many smartphone users root their devices to download their own applications. A similar process can be done by Glass-hackers or the developmental community where apps are "sideloaded" on the device – a process that requires putting Glass into the "debug" mode and using developer tools to install it.
According to Forbes, Lambda Labs is one such developer as they plan on releasing an unauthorized app for Glass that allows users to collect data and catalog images that are seen while wearing Glass – and this goes beyond just faces, but license plates and even computer screens. The app called FaceRec will work with other aspects of Glass, for instance, tying in the exact location and time you "saw" the object. Balaban of Lambda Labs says:
"As you collect data over time, you can start to ask questions like, who was that person I talked to during the last month at the Rosewood? Give it a geolocation, and you can find all the pictures and timestamps at that location, and it will show you all the people you saw."
The software still needs a lot of work to be "Terminator" like, as it is too slow to recognize a face or place in real-time, and currently it does not tie into any database to instantly pull up information to get you out of a jam at the next office Christmas party when you stumble upon the head of your company and you forget their name. Lambda hopes to incorporate those possibilities in future releases of the app.
Let us know on our Google+ Page what you think of Google's Glass. Are you excited about the device, upset about privacy issues, or simply not interested in the technology?