Google’s mixed messages over Glass apps

Can you or can’t you do facial recognition?

gives new meaning to "wot yer lookin at mate?"

As anyone who has ever covered high tech can tell you, with any radical new technology, what people actually do with it is frequently not what the inventor envisaged. The sex industry is a classic example of doing this. Now it seems that Google is putting out mixed messages as to what people can or cannot do with their latest Glass (ie glasses) technology. It told The Sunday Times that “it would not allow developers for its Google Glass eyewear to develop facial recognition applications that would let users scour the internet to identify strangers.” Helpfully, the newspaper then published the information on how to obtain the necessary API to do so. Hmmm.

There is obviously a great deal of pressure being put on Google – and we suspect that a Bi-Partisan Privacy Caucus group led by US Republican, Joe Barton, has a hand in all this.

Which is why Steve Lee, Glass director of product management, put out a woolly statement to The New York Times on the subject.

The Sunday Times also told us that, “it has also prohibited apps that would allow users of the futuristic specs from surreptitiously taking photos an videos of their surroundings.

Fast forward to the publication’s very own review of Google Glass by Mark Harris. What was the first thing he did?

“While fumbling with the frame I inadvertently hit the touch-sensitive camera control and a second later an embarrassing image of a nearby woman’s lower half appeared in the display.”

Harris was a complete Glass novice and immediately had no problem taking a surreptitious photo with the device.

Imagine what a Glass owner in a Las Vegas lap dancing bar could get up to? Are we going to find notices outside The Crazy Horse saying all Glass owners have to hand them in at the door?

Actually, here at GoMo Towers we are extremely grateful to Harris for his superb review of Google Glass here.

Including the revelation that they are called Glass because that it cooler than using the obvious term – glasses.

Oh. And the facial recognition API you need is from Lambda Labs who you can contact here.

A final hot tip. Harris says that a Google Glass is susceptible to water damage. iPhone accessory manufacturers take note.

About Tony Dennis

Tony is currently Editor of GoMobile News. He's a veteran telecoms journalist who has previously worked for major printed and online titles. Follow him on Twitter @GoMoTweet.
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