A lot of people are pretty skeptical about Google Glass, saying the goofy-looking goggles have no redeeming social value. Ah, but what if they could recognize faces?
A company calls FacialNetwork is claiming it has the software to make that happen. It would be a real blessing for anyone who has trouble remembering names. And just think of the potential dating applications -- all you'd have to do is stare at someone, say the magic word and get their name, email and -- I dunno -- Facebook profile or whatever.
And, sure enough, that's what FacialNetwork is promising. It calls the product NameTag and says it uses some of the most accurate facial recognition software in the world to grab faces using Google Glass' camera, send that face wirelessly to a server, compare it to millions of records and in seconds return a match complete with a name, additional photos and social media profiles.
FacialNetwork.com is also currently creating technology to allow the scanning of profile photos from dating sites such as PlentyOfFish.com, OkCupid.com and Match.com. The technology would also allow users to scan photos against the more than 450,000 entries in the National Sex Offender Registry and other criminal databases.
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A brave new world
"I believe that this will make online dating and offline social interactions much safer and give us a far better understanding of the people around us," said NameTag's creator Kevin Alan Tussy. "It's much easier to meet interesting new people when we can simply look at someone, see their Facebook, review their LinkedIn page or maybe even see their dating site profile. Often we were interacting with people blindly or not interacting at all. NameTag on Google Glass can change all that."
This all sounds great, at least to those who think such ideas aren't completely loathsome. But so far Google remains unconvinced.
Google has said that facial recognition will not be supported for Glass. Tussy thinks this is due to pressure from privacy groups but he thinks that when it seriously considers the "vast societal benefits," Google will eventually reconsider.
"There will be many providers of augmented reality headsets and even if facial recognition is not supported by some, I'm confident that there will be solutions for such limitations. We are not publishing any information about of our financiers or investors at this time but I will say that we are involved with some very well-respected individuals and venture funds," said Tussy.