Anti-Photography Glasses Prevent Facial Recognition from Doing Its Thing


Professor Isao Echizen from Tokyo’s National Institute of Informatics seems to think that photography and facial tagging are infringing a bit too eagerly on your privacy. So, in a bid to avoid being surveyed (perhaps by the all-seeing eye of the ARGUS-IS) he’s designed a pair of anti-photography glasses.


The glasses use near infrared LEDs around the frame to emit light that is invisible to the human eye, but can be picked up by CMOS and CCD image sensors. These lights effectively blind images sensors and keep them from picking up the details required by facial recognition software.



You can read the entire PDF release here, but the gist is that these glasses will protect you from having your picture taken, stored, and used for recognition. There are cameras all around us (think: ATM, gas station, etc.), not to mention all those pesky street photographers. Now, assuming the stylish glasses don’t sufficiently discourage them from snapping your mug, at least their pictures won’t turn out.

(via DIY Photography)

P.S. Wouldn’t it be interesting if a few celebrities got their hands on these? Might make for some angry paparazzi… and some strange-looking celebrity photos.

  • 11

    when he goes home, can his wife recognize him?

  • Caca Milis

    Or just keep shaking your face from side to side, they’ll just think you’re crazy, like in the film The Four Lions.

  • Antje

    I want one. That means only the indies can photograph me properly and look like an alien at the same time.

  • Vlad Dusil

    Since I have nothing to hide, I’d rather be picked up by cameras than ridiculed by onlookers for wearing these ridiculous glasses.

  • Roger Thornhill

    A ski mask does this cheaper and easier.

  • Shutterbug99

    Wouldn’t these glasses immediately tag you to law enforcement as a person with something to hide. Your image would insantly standout as someone worthy of additional investigation.

  • Alan Dove

    He’d better hope it catches on, or it will have precisely the opposite effect: if a camera picks up a face wearing these, it must be him.

  • Emanuel Rodriguez

    Not unrecognisable enough… Better option:

  • Dan Forsley

    The ultimate progression to this is:
    1. The development where the glasses appear to be everyday glasses.

    2. They have the capability not to distort your features but instead to reprogram your true facial form into an image that is altered.
    Now that is the real future.

  • Mike

    Would be worse if he couldn’t recognize her.

  • Ken Jones

    A mask outside certain parameters may be illegal in some jurisdictions. South Carolina, for example, makes it illegal to wear a mask to hide your identity. Exceptions include masquerade parties, Halloween, protective masks like motorcycle helmets while riding or dust masks in a dusty environment.

    I’m not certain, but considering it is right next to the statute against burning crosses on lands other than your own, it could be a measure to prevent the KKK from doing it’s “hoods and robes” thing. Still, it’s a good one for preventing people from entering any place of business wearing a mask.

  • 3ric15

    “can be picked up by CMOS and CCD image sensors” not if they have an IR filter in front of the sensor, i.e. most modern DSLR’s. But then again, who would use facial recognition on a DSLR? Do DSLR’s even have that feature at all?

  • Roger Thornhill

    I live in colder state, so I see people in public with a ski mask on (and walk into a business with them on… they do pull them up after inside).

    So if you are in an area where you cant wear a mask to hide you identity, then this product would be illegal too.

  • Evan Dematis

    I can see how these glasses are so ugly no one would want to take your picture! Yes, a great deterrent.

  • nope

    I’m sure he doesn’t have wife..:)

  • CrackerJacker

    He mistook her for a hat.

  • 9inchnail

    Not if enough people start wearing them. You can’t investigate hundreds or thousands of people just based on their exotic fashion choice.

  • 9inchnail

    Who cares about DSLRs? These glasses are supposed to protect your privacy in environments that are increasingly filled with surveillance cameras. Just a matter of time until you can’t go anywhere without the feds knowing. Except you’re wearing these babies. Of course you’ll also have to ditch your smartphone.

  • 3ric15

    Yeah, true. Like shutterbug said, the moment you come into view of a surveillance camera with that thing on, any security guard watching the screens is going to want to have a “chat” with you.

  • anon123

    not if you tint the lenses (the lights are infrared and not visible to the human eye)

    It would be a low-key anti-facial recognition option.

  • Burnin Biomass

    You are using this to hide your identity, so it would be as illegal as a ski mask then. You think banks will be ok with these on their ATM’s or on their security cams?

  • anon123

    you can’t wear a mask in public and conduct your daily activities.

    cameras are not just in banks

  • Burnin Biomass

    Anon, yes you can wear a mask in public in my state. You can wear a ski mask or a surgical mask in public here. Not every state has that law (yes, some do).

    You are correct, cameras are everywhere, so if you are wearing something that hides your identity from them, its as illegal as a ski mask in the states that have such laws.

  • Jason

    Hideouslooking techno-crap. I’d rather wear the fake glasses/nose/mustache thing.

  • TadaoCern

    a bag would do the job

  • Deetz

    If a person is still recognizable from the street view by an officer of the law, I don’t see how wearing this technology in your daily routine is potentially wrong or illegal.

    Once it’s actually designed into the eyewear better, it looks promising.

    f Big Brother.


  • Rob Ueberfeldt

    Having nothing to hide is now a crime. Please report to the nearest police station for re-education.

  • Rob Ueberfeldt

    But seriously, having nothing to hide is not going to stop some petty bureaucratic official or cop from ruining your life because they decided you are worth investigating. Now that all our privacy laws have gone to the dogs more people then ever are capable of doing a complete investigation on you, in NZ the banks co-operate with police and state agencies, willingly give over all you bank details and admit they use such investigations as reason to not give loans. There is no recourse to this, even if you are completely innocent. Got a dispute with your neighbor who works for local government or want to date a police officers daughter?

  • tocof

    On the other hand, how about I program my 3d printer to lay down a biologically identical mask of your ugly mug, then go around the city having a grand ole’ time at your expense. Now there is an interesting use for some cutting edge technology.