Aug. 23,2013, 2013 -- The great thing about Google Glasses is that they’re pretty hard to steal. What mugger is going to swipe them from you, when they know their every illegal move could be recorded, uploaded, and then processed to the web quicker than they can breathe? For all they know, they’ll be tackled to the floor and have their rights read to them before they make it five feet.
This is comforting because if you’re going to be wearing $1,500 worth of tech on your nose, you want to feel secure. But it is a pair of glasses after all. A canny thief or a tech-head has ways of getting around the security measures. If that's you...
Here’s how technology will let you steal Google Glasses:
CV Dazzle: Creative makeup stops your face from being recognized
Girls have been expounding on the benefits of makeup for years, and now thieves have no reason to not get involved. The camera in Google Glasses can be used for face detection purposes, but clever makeup can let you opt out of this. CV Dazzle, code-named after “Dazzle” camouflage used in WW1, was created by artist Adam Harvey.
“CV Dazzle designs break apart the gestalt of a face, or object, and make it undetectable to computer vision algorithms, in particular face detection,“ he said. Harvey analyzed how face detection algorithms work, and designed an “anti-face” - a makeup creation that’s unrecognizable.
By applying makeup methodically to certain parts of the face, you can “fool” smart sensors and render yourself unknowable to technology. Not invisible, but unidentifiable. Now where's the nearest Sephora?
The Privacy Camera: Obscuracam conceals who you are from your victim
Obscuracam has been created as a joint project between Witness and the Guardian Project fund, in order to maintain the digital and visual privacy of people. Why not take this a step in the wrong direction, and use it to mask your crimes? The Obscuracam mobile app removes metadata from any images you take and also conceals faces and objects in images using specific pixelization. It might not help in a face to face conflict, but if you become the dedicated photo taker at the party, it will let you gain the victim's trust, snap away some shots, which you'll handily be “missing” from, and allow your sneak-up options later in the night.
Downsides? Well it’s funded by Google so they *may* have a workaround for the Glasses.
Get your *Infrared* Glasses on
These babies may not be as slick as Google Glasses, and will definitely get you laughed at, but it's a helpful low cost way to enable you to steal yourself a pair. Created by two designers from Tokyo's National Institute of Informatics and Kogakuin University, these work on the principle that the lights around your face distort your image just enough to conceal you from face detection software.
“This technology focuses on the differences on human senses and the spectral sensitivity characteristics of imaging devices on cameras," they wrote in a press release: "Facial recognition of photographed subjects can be made to fail. This is achieved by the photographed subject wearing a wearable device – a privacy visor – equipped with a near-infrared light source that appends noise to photographed images without affecting human visibility.”
Surv App lets you check who’s watching you, so you know where NOT to run
Part of the grab ‘n’ dash associated with a successful Google Glasses steal is making a nice clean getaway. If you've avoided being recognized, captured in photo or video, and are wearing silly glasses as a disguise, the next thing you want to do is make your break for it. Surv is a free app that lets you view all the locations of surveillance cameras within a 100 meters of the users smartphone. Everything from facial recognition hotspots to traffic cameras and license plate readers is shared making it the ultimate getaway tool.
In a world where we are constantly monitored, working out ways to beat the system is the modern day challenge, and when your opponent is the United States government, it kinda raises the stakes. The current challengers: The Department of Homeland Security BOSS system, also known as the Biometric Optical Surveillance System. This is planned to be implemented as a country wide surveillance system to track and monitor people by using facial tracking software. Ostensibly, this will help deter crimes and catch criminals, but the potential for abuse is heavily documented in practically every dystopian science fiction book out there. Orwell’s 1984 or Minority Report anyone?
However, there’s an extra option here.. and one that depending on your trust level, you might want to go with. Google told the New York Times that so far, there will be NO face recognition software included.
“We've consistently said that we won’t add new face recognition features to our services unless we have strong privacy protections in place.”
Whether or not you believe Google, now that is a different story.