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Google Glass Will Identify People By Clothing

Soulskill posted about a year ago | from the nudity-is-anonymity dept.

Google 115

recoiledsnake writes "This article notes, 'A new technology built into Google Glass, dug up by New Scientist, takes Google Glass from interesting to down right creepy. Google Glass can now pick a person out of crowd based on their fashion style. The system, InSight, developed in partnership with Google, will take a nice little moment to assess the clothing in frame, and then point out exactly where your friends are in busy settings like a bar, concert, or sporting event. It could probably point you out in a protest, or shopping mall too.' We previously discussed the disorienting effects on the wearer of the device."

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115 comments

Goodbye Anonymity (2)

invid (163714) | about a year ago | (#43120887)

Lets face it, very soon everyone is going to know where everyone else is all the time. Unless you wear some sort of Scanner Darkly blur suit.

Re:Goodbye Anonymity (2)

i kan reed (749298) | about a year ago | (#43120951)

At least Google will. I wonder how long until they gain the ability to determine how close your friends are to you, and who's offended by what. Then: automated blackmail. "User invid, it looks like you haven't cleared friend google to remove 15 future credits from your account this month, would you like your browser history from the date of July 10th, 2017 forwarded to your mother?"

Re:Goodbye Anonymity (4, Interesting)

F9rDT3ZE (2860845) | about a year ago | (#43121577)

i hear from acquaintances who work in Google that the algorithms they run on emails do something much like this. among other things, they know when you are thinking of taking another job almost before you do. word is, among the things you must not say on the phone inside the pure-freedom, do-no-evil world of Google, is "let's take this offline" or anything else indicating you don't want to talk about something on the phone, since that's an instant tip that you want to say something unsurveilled. coming soon to our entire society!

Re:Goodbye Anonymity (1)

TheLink (130905) | about a year ago | (#43124163)

I've been wondering if Google has a Financial arm/division that makes a lot of money from this sort of thing.

Being able to figure what a lot of investors/speculators are going to buy/sell can make you a lot of money.

Re:Goodbye Anonymity (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43124519)

Probably, but i expect that they make these transactions in another firm, to lessen the risk of loosing the source of information.

Re:Goodbye Anonymity (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43124513)

i hear from acquaintances who work in Google

Could be true, could be that you are an over excited alarmist who's full of shit, or, it could be that your "acquaintances" (people who buy stuff off you at the gas station) aren't being honest.

Re:Goodbye Anonymity (3, Funny)

Jamu (852752) | about a year ago | (#43121449)

It's not going to work on me. I don't have any fashion style.

It still works for google's targeted advertising (1)

perpenso (1613749) | about a year ago | (#43124045)

It's not going to work on me. I don't have any fashion style.

It may not work for your friend hoping to recognize you in the crowd but it still works for google and their delivery of targeted ads to you. Unless you are wearing homespun somebody is selling what you are wearing, fashionable of not.

Re:Goodbye Anonymity (1)

detritus. (46421) | about a year ago | (#43121503)

And I can't hit a guy with glasses when he continues to stare at me. We're screwed.

Re:Goodbye Anonymity (1)

dreamchaser (49529) | about a year ago | (#43123683)

And I can't hit a guy with glasses when he continues to stare at me. We're screwed.

Just don't hit him in the face. Kneecapping works wonders.

Re:Goodbye Anonymity (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43121881)

Lets face it, very soon everyone is going to know where everyone else is all the time.

Foursquare. Facebook. Twitter.

That's already happening.

Re:Goodbye Anonymity (3, Interesting)

SpectreBlofeld (886224) | about a year ago | (#43123371)

I have a feeling these things are going to be relying heavily on Google's cloud storage services. I also have a feeling that black market short-range pocket-sized mobile phone frequency jammers are going to become a hot commodity. :)

Re:Goodbye Anonymity (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43124537)

blur is the new black....

so fracking cool (4, Funny)

alen (225700) | about a year ago | (#43120891)

first foursquare told me where all my friends are
now google tells me who my friends are and i don't have to look at their face

Post, first. (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43120893)

Google Glass will user in a new revolution of interaction and information availability. Sure, some say Google and their inventions are creepy, but there will always be stubborn and ignorant luddites who will resist technology advances in their paranoid senility.

Google has done so much for the world, and they should be applauded!

-- Ethanol-fueled

Re:Post, first. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43121491)

That was sarcasm right?

It'll never spot me. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43120907)

I'll just remain naked.
 
Captcha: anchovy

Re:It'll never spot me. (2)

SternisheFan (2529412) | about a year ago | (#43121177)

Finally, an excuse for me to pull out the old disco era mirror-ball suit! And the matching tin-foil hat accessory.

Re:It'll never spot me. (1)

Garridan (597129) | about a year ago | (#43122081)

Sorry, pal. HDR [wikipedia.org] neatly defeats pretty much any such optical tampering.

Re:It'll never spot me. (1)

SternisheFan (2529412) | about a year ago | (#43122293)

Foiled again, damn you, High dynamic range imaging! (shakes fist)

All right, that gaudy suit goes back into storage, for now... There is hope, I just saw a commercial where the cool kid exclaims, "And I hear that Disco's making a comeback!"

I'll just patiently bide my time...

Re:It'll never spot me. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43124453)

Tin foiled again

FTFY

Re:It'll never spot me. (3, Funny)

Skapare (16644) | about a year ago | (#43121423)

Finally ... Anonymous Coward revealed!!

Re:It'll never spot me. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43122045)

I guess we'll have to be naked to beat this system, eh?

so now my friends are like my girlfriend (2)

alen (225700) | about a year ago | (#43120909)

i don't have to look at their faces when i see them

Re:so now my friends are like my girlfriend (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43122099)

i don't have to look at their faces when i see them

So you're looking at their hands?

Sorry, couldn't resist.

Re:so now my friends are like my girlfriend (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43123903)

Your UID is in the low 6 digits; you don't have a girlfriend
Get Real!!!

i want to see (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43120913)

It pop up with a box surrounding someone with the label "douchebag"

Re:i want to see (1)

game kid (805301) | about a year ago | (#43121115)

Unfortunately, Google Glass can only augment reality as seen through the glasses; it can't actually place labeled boxes around the wearer or other wearers nearby.

So what happens when they're in uniform (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43120947)

Or they're all wearing the same clothes?

Great for avoiding, bad for privacy (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43120961)

On the one hand that's great, especially if there's someone in the crowd you'd rather avoid. On the other hand (and in a more serious light), this is just horrible for privacy.

Re:Great for avoiding, bad for privacy (4, Interesting)

DragonWriter (970822) | about a year ago | (#43121037)

On the one hand that's great, especially if there's someone in the crowd you'd rather avoid. On the other hand (and in a more serious light), this is just horrible for privacy.

I really think we need a different word for "people's desire for public interactions to be mostly ephemeral" than "privacy".

I'm not saying its not an increasingly important concern (a fairly novel one raised by the increased ease of recording, analyzing, storing, and indexing information about public interactions), its just not the same thing as the traditional notion of "privacy", because it largely rests in things that are deliberately exposed publicly.

Re:Great for avoiding, bad for privacy (1)

Immerman (2627577) | about a year ago | (#43121771)

I'm not so sure. I mean I agree that a dedicated word could help clarify the conversation, but at the root we're still talking about privacy. By rendering your public actions non-ephemeral it makes it possible to composite the data and gain considerable insight into your non-public actions. Anyone who has lived in a really small town has seen the "light" version in action - the pool of available gossip is shallow enough that available data gets shared around and almost everyone knows almost everything about everyone they care to know about. Throw out the "telephone game" lossy data channel and add computer analysis and it promises to be downright scary. Not to mention that long-term retention would mean that long-term snooping could be done retroactively on any "people of interest".

I think though that David Brin may have been right in his "Transparent Society" essay though: the genie is out of the bottle - recording devices are getting cheaper and more unobtrusive at a phenomenal pace, and long-term there's nothing we can do to deprive opportunistic corporations, oppressive governments, and other "bad guys" of the ability to record and analyze our every move. In which case the battle we should *really* be fighting it to make sure just as many cameras are trained on the folks running the show and that we're free to watch them back.

Privacy is a fairly recent phenomena for anyone except hermits, and while I personally enjoy it it may not be a sustainable luxury. But if we can't keep it, let's at least make sure its loss doesn't grant an asymmetric power advantage to a select few.

Re:Great for avoiding, bad for privacy (1)

AK Marc (707885) | about a year ago | (#43121477)

How is this a change? Any camera "could" pick someone out based on face recognition, the difference here is that they use something more coarse than face to find a match. Finding a match is nothing new. Just a tweak to make the find easier from a distance in a crowd, but no new functionality

Re:Great for avoiding, bad for privacy (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43121523)

So if I block another Google Plus user, do they turn invisible if my glasses sees them walking down the street?

I hope... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43121007)

I frankly hope Google Glasses will not be a hit. There are so many possible negative sides to it, just such as certain distractions (driving, talking to people) and how will your sight "adjust" (in a bad way) over time.

Personally I would not get some.

I have none... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43121019)

What if I have no fashion style?

Re:I have none... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43123549)

They've been testing in Silicon Valley. Face it, the technology works.

You still gets ads even if you have no style (1)

perpenso (1613749) | about a year ago | (#43124021)

What if I have no fashion style?

Then google will target you with ads from vendors offering clothes with no style.

Google Glass feature that no one is talking about (5, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43121021)

This is a great read: http://creativegood.com/blog/the-google-glass-feature-no-one-is-talking-about/ [creativegood.com]

From the article:

The Google Glass feature that (almost) no one is talking about is the experience – not of the user, but of everyone other than the user. A tweet by David Yee introduces it well:

There is a kid wearing Google Glasses at this restaurant which, until just now, used to be my favorite spot.

Doesn't seem that bad (1)

dyingtolive (1393037) | about a year ago | (#43121023)

So then the moment you DON'T want it to pick you out, you just change clothes. Why yes, that IS my protest suit, thank you very much.

The real fun will start... (3, Interesting)

John Hasler (414242) | about a year ago | (#43121025)

...when the malware hits these things.

Re:The real fun will start... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43121639)

Malware seems pretty unlikely. It's based on Android which already is pretty much devoid of malware except for users who run unsigned apps. On top of that nothing actually runs on Glass. All of the apps run on Google's servers and send their interface to Glass.

Re:The real fun will start... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43123925)

This is a joke, right?

Re:The real fun will start... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43124379)

... when the malware hits these things

I'm writing it now: Every man in a red cap and mustache will be Mario the plumber, every one wearing a Congressional pin will be a Mafia boss, every school-girl in cut-off pants will be a prostitute.

So why not by face? (1)

rolfwind (528248) | about a year ago | (#43121059)

I thought that the proportion between eyes and all that type of stuff was more pretty accurate. Also faces don't tend to change in a short period of time. Note that I'm not against two or more different methods being used to identify someone.

Already can be creeper sorry creepy (4, Interesting)

Fencepost (107992) | about a year ago | (#43121099)

I've seen a bit of mention of this, but not much.

Anyone remember a furor not too long ago about assorted "creepershot" forums on Reddit? Google Glass will make creepershots trivial - at least now it's (generally) obvious if you're following people around photographing them.

Re:Already can be creeper sorry creepy (1)

detritus. (46421) | about a year ago | (#43121585)

Imagine future incantations of this that could put an overlay of flesh over clothing simulating everyone you're looking at as being nude in real time.

Re:Already can be creeper sorry creepy (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43121715)

It would certainly make public speaking easier...

Re:Already can be creeper sorry creepy (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43121773)

They'll sell it as an aid while public speaking.

Re:Already can be creeper sorry creepy (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43123693)

Incantations? Now they are selling magical spells too???

I call B.S. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43121105)

"The system, InSight, developed in partnership with Google, will take a nice little moment to assess the clothing in frame, and then point out exactly where your friends are in busy settings like a bar, concert, or sporting event.

Really? At a concert or sporting event? So, based solely on clothing, exactly how is this magic software supposed to distinguish between me and the ten thousand other people who are wearing the exact same band t-shirt or team jersey?

Oh well... (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43121141)

Forget about identifying Ferengi women, they're not allowed to wear clothing.

What the hell? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43121183)

So, now everything I go to the street I'll have to face people laughting at me because they'll see onto their glasses:

"Cloth: naff"

F**k you Google!

Prosopagnosia (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43121193)

So Google Glass has prosopagnosia? As a sufferer of this, that is one of the main ways I can find people in a crowd. If I can do so at all... :(

Where's Waldo? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43121267)

Oh fuck there he is.

Useful (5, Insightful)

The Raven (30575) | about a year ago | (#43121289)

This is very useful to me; I often have trouble picking my wife out of a crowd. Mom, who has prosopagnosia (unable to identify faces) will also appreciate it. This kind of task, supplementing human failings, is exactly what we need. Many people don't need it; I'm sure most people will be as good or better than Glass at seeing friends in a crowd. But for those of us who are not? Useful!

I don't need a calculator to figure out which package of rice is the best-per-pound at the supermarket (when it is not labeled clearly), while my wife does. Should I say calculators are useless or stupid, just because I don't need them for that use case?

Re:Useful (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43121539)

Your wife using a calc to determine best price doesn't relate to the privacy implications we have here.

Re:Useful (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43121899)

This rant is strange and incoherent.

Re:Useful (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43122413)

I agree. Referring to his mother as "Mom" (not "my mom") in a public forum where nobody knows her is strongly reminiscent of Norman Bates.

Re:Useful (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43122513)

Can we at least have the option of facial recognition?
I'm notoriously bad at recognizing people visually. And when I do recognize people, it takes longer than everyone else.

I'm reasonably good at faking it, but my close friends (and I guess some people at work) know it and just tolerate it. It would be nice to have a name float next to the face of a person when I look at them. I don't care about teaching the system. I can teach it the first time I see them while wearing the glasses.

Re:Useful (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43123941)

You have to fake recognizing your 'close' friends?

Re:Useful (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43122515)

Good job, Sergey. However you could have made an even stronger case by saying something like "not being able to identify my own wife in public is very emasculating".

Re:Useful (1)

martin-boundary (547041) | about a year ago | (#43122653)

I love the glases too! The algorithm actually works by digitally stripping a person's clothing, and then rapidly making them wear a whole bunch of alternatives, until there's a match with a previous photo. (BTW, if during this process you move your eye in the sequence up,up,down,down,left,right,left,right, you get to watch the whole process happening in debug mode). I've picked your wife out from the crowd several times now, the system works flawlessly!

Re:Useful (1)

roman_mir (125474) | about a year ago | (#43124571)

I often have trouble picking my wife out of a crowd

- then what's the difference? Just grab any one of them and go.

Does no one actually read the articles? (5, Informative)

tilante (2547392) | about a year ago | (#43121293)

The article explains that the application works like this: you have to start off by IDing your friend to it. It then analyzes the clothing they're wearing and their dimensions. When you want to look for them, it scans for a match, and picks out the person (or what could potentially be the person) for you.

The article goes on to mention a couple of reasons that they chose to do it this way: one is to protect privacy! By not using facial recognition, they make sure that the app can't easily be pre-loaded with a database of people and look for them all the time. For another, humans are already good at facial recognition. If you can see your friend's face, there's a good chance that you'll recognize them. This, however, helps when you're scanning the crowd and their back might be to you.

Honestly, it sounds like a good idea to me. Sure, it's going to have problems if you're surrounded by identically-dressed people, but you're not left any worse off by that than you were without it. Since it uses their bodily dimensions as well, it may still be of some use. And I know from times that I've been shopping with my wife and was looking for her that I, personally, have a horrible memory for what people are wearing. If I see her face, sure, I'll recognize her - but I often find myself remembering not the outfit she was wearing today, but the one she was wearing yesterday, or the one she was wearing when I met her for lunch.....

Re: you have to start off by IDing your friend... (1)

girlinatrainingbra (2738457) | about a year ago | (#43121603)

re: you have to start off by IDing your friend to it.
.
Ha. I misread your "IDing" as "iDing" ( or more clearly: "I-D-ing" as "i-Ding" ) as if it were a new electronic interactive way to ping or ding somebody. That would really be a cool new thing to trademark and create: iDing which pings and dings someone in real life, and if they're physically close enough to you IRL then you can hear the little submarine "ping" come out of their cell phone! Quick, Robin, off to the App-Mobile (TM, moi) to write this app!!!

Re:Does no one actually read the articles? (1)

detritus. (46421) | about a year ago | (#43121831)

The article explains that the application works like this: you have to start off by IDing your friend to it. It then analyzes the clothing they're wearing and their dimensions. When you want to look for them, it scans for a match, and picks out the person (or what could potentially be the person) for you.

I'll need to see the source code to be sure, and this is only the first generation of these glasses.

Re:Does no one actually read the articles? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43122085)

Hows about your "friend" *doesn't fucking want* to be IDed?

- justasking.

Re:Does no one actually read the articles? (1)

cjc25 (1961486) | about a year ago | (#43122531)

If your friend tells you that, and you still ID them, they will:

1. Change
2. No longer be your friend.

Re:Does no one actually read the articles? (1)

Pale Dot (2813911) | about a year ago | (#43123067)

Agreed. The problem is with the second link to the science-ficulation of an obvious Mac fanboy, not the most unbiased source. For the benefit of those with (chiefly mobile) browsers that hide links, here's the naked url of the blog post that puts a negative spin on the largely positive New Scientist article:

http://www.macgasm.net/2013/03/08/creepier-the-minute-google-glass-will-identify-people-clothing-choices/

This fashion ID technology sounds less creepy to me than the tracking already being done by the wireless devices you already can't live without.

Re:Does no one actually read the articles? (1, Interesting)

nazsco (695026) | about a year ago | (#43123659)

Wrong.

It works like this: Google makes you scan several of your friends in several outfits and tag them.

Now Google has a database of, your friends and social circle; your friends faces; your friends cloth shopping habits for direct ad targeting

And you have nothing because this feature will probably only work 5% of the time

Re:Does no one actually read the articles? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43123773)

>For another, humans are already good at facial recognition. If you can see your friend's face, there's a good chance that you'll recognize them.

Fuck that; I'm nearly blind. I fucking want automated facial recognition so I can figure out who the hell just walked up and started talking to me.

It's not part of Project Glass... (3, Interesting)

Dotnaught (223657) | about a year ago | (#43121381)

...It's technology that Google has had a hand in funding. The Project Glass connection is because the researchers used Project Glass as an example in their paper. Google may be able to use the technology, but it has not been included in the Glass software.

Google Funds Fashion Recognition Research
http://www.informationweek.com/security/privacy/google-funds-fashion-recognition-researc/240150399 [informationweek.com]

oh boy, now i have (1)

nimbius (983462) | about a year ago | (#43121471)

an excuse to dust off that tank top made solely out of malicious QR codes and porn links.

Uhm, yeah... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43121551)

I'm sure I'll stand right out in public wearing my usual jeans, t-shirts, and Aeropostale hoodies. I mean, no one wears that stuff.

Not that far fetched... (2)

jythie (914043) | about a year ago | (#43121711)

Actually, this is not quite as far fetched as it sounds.

I have partial facial blindness, and over the years I have gotten better at identifying people based off their cloths and hair style. Even when people do not intend it, many people stick to certain colour types and cuts, and it is not unusual to pick people out based off those patterns, or be really confused when they do something out of character. I have never really been sure _what_ the patterns are, but something in the back of my brain has built up some rules that work better then pure chance.

Re:Not that far fetched... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43121891)

I always get thrown off when a woman changes her hair color, perhaps this will alleviate that...

Kinda brings new importance to the question (1)

xyourfacekillerx (939258) | about a year ago | (#43121751)

"You wouldn't punch a guy with glasses on would you?"

Re:Kinda brings new importance to the question (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43123381)

Indeed. I can see too many people stalking others to get upskirts, titty shots, etc for replay in the privacy of their own home. It's not going to bring out the best in people, I wager.
The only legit use I would personally have is for when there *aren't* people around, like when exploring nature or looking at a screen and using it as a personal assistant when I do my job.
Quite simply, this product is made for Google's benefit, not ours. Just imaging the benefit to them having all this information. It's disturbing.

Frost 4i5t (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43121803)

to predict *BSD's racist? How is

Bounty Hunting App (3, Interesting)

ZombieBraintrust (1685608) | about a year ago | (#43121805)

I can't wait to earn free money by wearing by my Google Glass. Collect bounties just by having them turned on. If someone with a warrent is spotted the app will send your location and a photo to the goverment. The app splits the reward with you 50/50. I am sure there will also be an auto census application that gives you money. Turn it on and the application counts the number of people in your location, includes stats on gender and wealth. Free money.

Easiest algorithm (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43122851)

To me this sounds like the easiest way out. Just look for blobs of red or blue stripes rather than trying to match a face would be much easier to implement.

What if I wear blue jeans, black turtleneck (1)

ikaruga (2725453) | about a year ago | (#43124463)

and white sneakers?
But on a serious note, I'm really curious about the output for people with similar clothes. Specially if you work in Japan, with all these salaryman in black suits or in any hospital with all doctors and nurses using nearly the same outfit(or any workplace that requires an uniform). Artists and celebrities may do their best to use different outfits in front of the cameras, but in the real world there is quite a significant overlap of clothing even between different people.

sifi clothing (1)

metalmonkey (1083851) | about a year ago | (#43124533)

This is the real reason for those jumpsuits common in depictions of the future.
If everyone looks the same they won't be as easily tracked.

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