AVG is a name well-known in the Windows world for its decent and free anti-virus software, but the company is apparently looking to expand outside of just software and protect people’s privacy in the real world now. At Mobile World Congress, AVG is demoing a concept pair of glasses that both foil facial recognition software, and make it difficult for someone to snap a photo of your face.
To make it difficult for facial recognition systems to actually recognise a wearer’s face, the glasses feature a set of infrared LEDs around the eyes and nose that are only visible to digital cameras. When a photo of the wearer’s face is snapped, those areas, which are crucial to facial recognition working, are obscured with a bright bloom.
For an extra layer of privacy protection, AVG’s glasses are also covered in a retro-reflective material, like Betabrand’s Flashback clothing line, which directs the light from a camera flash directly back at a camera so the resulting image is overexposed and obscured. It doesn’t hide the wearer’s body or what’s going on in the rest of the image, but by hiding part of their face it should provide some level of plausible deniability.
There’s no word on if or when AVG plans to put these glasses into production, but hopefully if the company plans to go ahead with the design it will find a way to make those LEDs a little smaller and a little more subtle. And here’s to hoping the glasses won’t need a software update every other day like the company’s antivirus software.