These clothes use outlandish designs to trick facial recognition software into thinking you're not a human
HKU Design/Jip van Leeuwenstein
- Facial recognition technology is everywhere: More than half of Americans' faces are now logged in police databases.
- To push back against surveillance, designers have invented clothes and accessories that make your face undetectable.
- The accessories combine fashion and technology, and can trick algorithms meant to detect and identify faces.
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Smile! You're on camera - or you were at some point in the past few years - and now your face is public domain.
Facial recognition technology is everywhere, and only becoming more pervasive. It's marketed as a security feature by companies like Apple and Google to prevent strangers from unlocking your iPhone or front door.
It's also used by government agencies like police departments. More than half of adult Americans' faces are logged in police databases, according to a study by Georgetown researchers. Facial recognition technology is used by governments across the globe to identify and track dissidents, and has been deployed by police against Hong Kong protesters.
To push back, privacy-focused designers, academics, and activists have designed wearable accessories and clothes meant to thwart facial recognition tech.
Facial recognition software uses artificial intelligence to detect faces or human figures in real-time. But that software is fallible - clothing can "dazzle" the software with misleading shapes that stop the AI from knowing what it's looking at. Other designs confuse AI with images of decoy faces, preventing it from making the right identification.
These designs are still niche, and have mostly only appeared as art installations or academic projects. But as facial recognition becomes more widespread, they may catch on as the next trend in functional fashion.
Here are the ingenious, bizarre designs meant to outsmart facial recognition tech.
A lens-shaped mask makes its user undetectable to facial recognition algorithms while still allowing humans to read facial expressions and identity.
The mask's curvature blocks facial recognition from all angles.
A Dutch design student invented a projector that superimposes an image of a different face over that of the wearer.
The device shifts rapidly between faces being projected, making detection even more difficult.
A Japanese college professor designed goggles fitted with LEDs that thwart facial recognition.
Images from Echizen's lab shows how the visor blocks AI's ability to detect a face.
An artist designed a toolkit of avant-garde makeup and styling tips that can make faces unrecognizable to AI.
CV Dazzle combines makeup, hair extensions, accessories, and gems to transform people's faces.
Sanne Weekers, a design student in the Netherlands, created a headscarf decorated with faces intended to confuse algorithms.
Belgian scientists developed a prototype for a graphic print that could be added to clothing to "attack" and baffle surveillance technology.
An artist created masks that evade facial recognition and send a message about invasions of privacy.
Blas' masks also explore the potential of algorithm-driven facial recognition to enact bias and produce false positives.
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