Dark Reading is part of the Informa Tech Division of Informa PLC

This site is operated by a business or businesses owned by Informa PLC and all copyright resides with them.Informa PLC's registered office is 5 Howick Place, London SW1P 1WG. Registered in England and Wales. Number 8860726.

Risk

3/8/2013
03:15 PM
Connect Directly
Google+
LinkedIn
Twitter
RSS
E-Mail
50%
50%

Google Funds Fashion Recognition Research

Technology being developed with support from Google could allow Project Glass or other mobile devices to recognize people without using facial biometrics.

Google may be wary of adding a facial recognition system to Project Glass, its forthcoming computerized eyewear, due to the privacy implications. But the company appears to be more sanguine about the public's willingness to accept fashion recognition.

Google recently awarded a research grant to support ongoing work on a project called InSight that enables individuals to be identified by their visual fingerprint, calculated through assessments of clothing colors, body structure and motion patterns.

The award came after the researchers involved in the project submitted a proposal that focused on how their technology could enhance Project Glass.

Google has not committed to including this technology in any future products. Rather, it's supporting the development of technology that could be useful for mobile products like Project Glass or in other contexts.

Google declined to comment on whether it intends to implement InSight in Project Glass.

[ Facebook's News Feed makeover borrows from Google+'s approach. Read Facebook's New Look Pays Homage To Google+. ]

InSight is being developed by University of South Carolina associate professor of computer science Srihari Nelakuditi, Duke University associate professor of computer science and electrical engineering Romit Roy Choudhury and Duke graduate students He Wang and Xuan Bao.

In a phone interview, Nelakuditi explained that the idea for the technology arose out of the desire to allow users of mobile devices to communicate more effectively with those around them, and perhaps share data in situations like conferences or other public gatherings.

Facial recognition technology was an option, but Nelakuditi said it posed two problems. "One is the face may not always be visible," he said. "Also, we think it's good to have a temporary fingerprint rather than a permanent biometric."

No doubt it's good from Google's perspective, given that the company has invested in facial recognition technology but has deployed it warily because of the privacy implications. Though it has found a use for facial recognition in Picasa and Google+ tagging, the company has opted not to add it to mobile products like Google Goggles.

Project Glass is an obvious candidate for some form of facial recognition. But having played the part of privacy invader too often in recent years, Google probably isn't eager to be seen repeating past heedlessness or the missteps of competitors.

Despite the fact that social networks have made exhibitionism the norm, at least among the young, Google appears to be more focused on privacy protections -- for example, blurring people's faces in Street View and YouTube -- than identity exposure at the moment, at least outside of the context of targeted advertising.

Visual fingerprints are temporary because their reliance on clothing makes them variable. The researchers in their paper on the topic, "InSight: Recognizing Humans without Face Recognition," suggest "spatio-chromatic fingerprints" might be used to identify oneself in a crowd to those who might share a common goal, such as forming a group to make a taxi trip more affordable.

For example, a person with a smartphone could use the technology to photograph himself or herself and broadcast the visual fingerprint produced from that image to people wearing Project Glass eyeglasses. Those people could then see the broadcasting person identified with an arrow overlaid on their field of vision: Their glasses produced a series of visual fingerprints for visible individuals in the area and identified the person whose visual fingerprint matched the broadcast fingerprint.

If that ends up taking too much time, processing power, bandwidth or cognitive commitment, another option would be to shout, "Anyone want to share a cab to Manhattan?"

Attend Interop Las Vegas May 6-10 and learn the emerging trends in information risk management and security. Use Priority Code MPIWK by March 22 to save an additional $200 off the early bird discount on All Access and Conference Passes. Join us in Las Vegas for access to 125+ workshops and conference classes, 300+ exhibiting companies, and the latest technology. Register today!

Comment  | 
Print  | 
More Insights
Comments
Newest First  |  Oldest First  |  Threaded View
J. Nicholas Hoover
50%
50%
J. Nicholas Hoover,
User Rank: Apprentice
3/11/2013 | 1:53:48 PM
re: Google Funds Fashion Recognition Research
I'm assuming this is somewhat far from prime time. Of note, when I use Google's Search by Image function, Google often has trouble returning images that even remotely look like the one that I've tried plugging into Google.
Data Leak Week: Billions of Sensitive Files Exposed Online
Kelly Jackson Higgins, Executive Editor at Dark Reading,  12/10/2019
Intel Issues Fix for 'Plundervolt' SGX Flaw
Kelly Jackson Higgins, Executive Editor at Dark Reading,  12/11/2019
Register for Dark Reading Newsletters
White Papers
Video
Cartoon
Current Issue
The Year in Security: 2019
This Tech Digest provides a wrap up and overview of the year's top cybersecurity news stories. It was a year of new twists on old threats, with fears of another WannaCry-type worm and of a possible botnet army of Wi-Fi routers. But 2019 also underscored the risk of firmware and trusted security tools harboring dangerous holes that cybercriminals and nation-state hackers could readily abuse. Read more.
Flash Poll
Rethinking Enterprise Data Defense
Rethinking Enterprise Data Defense
Frustrated with recurring intrusions and breaches, cybersecurity professionals are questioning some of the industrys conventional wisdom. Heres a look at what theyre thinking about.
Twitter Feed
Dark Reading - Bug Report
Bug Report
Enterprise Vulnerabilities
From DHS/US-CERT's National Vulnerability Database
CVE-2019-5252
PUBLISHED: 2019-12-14
There is an improper authentication vulnerability in Huawei smartphones (Y9, Honor 8X, Honor 9 Lite, Honor 9i, Y6 Pro). The applock does not perform a sufficient authentication in a rare condition. Successful exploit could allow the attacker to use the application locked by applock in an instant.
CVE-2019-5235
PUBLISHED: 2019-12-14
Some Huawei smart phones have a null pointer dereference vulnerability. An attacker crafts specific packets and sends to the affected product to exploit this vulnerability. Successful exploitation may cause the affected phone to be abnormal.
CVE-2019-5264
PUBLISHED: 2019-12-13
There is an information disclosure vulnerability in certain Huawei smartphones (Mate 10;Mate 10 Pro;Honor V10;Changxiang 7S;P-smart;Changxiang 8 Plus;Y9 2018;Honor 9 Lite;Honor 9i;Mate 9). The software does not properly handle certain information of applications locked by applock in a rare condition...
CVE-2019-5277
PUBLISHED: 2019-12-13
Huawei CloudUSM-EUA V600R006C10;V600R019C00 have an information leak vulnerability. Due to improper configuration, the attacker may cause information leak by successful exploitation.
CVE-2019-5254
PUBLISHED: 2019-12-13
Certain Huawei products (AP2000;IPS Module;NGFW Module;NIP6300;NIP6600;NIP6800;S5700;SVN5600;SVN5800;SVN5800-C;SeMG9811;Secospace AntiDDoS8000;Secospace USG6300;Secospace USG6500;Secospace USG6600;USG6000V;eSpace U1981) have an out-of-bounds read vulnerability. An attacker who logs in to the board m...