Google Glass gains facial recognition with sneaky hack

Google Glass white

Google Glass white

Google Glass is exciting. It’s the first real step towards hands-free computing and one day, Star Trek-style interaction. Recently though, one user’s gone and squeezed facial recognition into Google Glass, with fairly accurate results.

His project is called MedRef for Google Glass and it adds extra cards (same as Google Now) to the Glass timeline. Or as Lance Nanek, the developer of MedRef, calls it “cool medical stuff and facial recognition.”

Users would need to first install the Glassware. The MedRef cards pop up and pull in records for “Jason”, a test patient. The app lets you add voice notes, and browse saved notes. You can see the user stroking Google Glass to scroll through the notes and options. It’s incredible to see the physical interface of Google Glass at work, as rubbing the temple of Glass is just about the most natural scrolling method to date.

The fun comes when the facial recognition app kicks in. Nanek uploads an image of his girlfriend to a facial recognition service where every included user has a their own “face ID” in the database. It seems to work decently, as the user’s girlfriend gets a 55% match. Jason, another test user, only gets a 24% match on the database.

The app is currently available on GitHub and the team has made great strides so far. Thanks to the open-source nature of Google, it won’t be long before some other genius turns MedRef into leaner, slicker version of itself. The video below is proof of Google Glass’ next step in the digital evolution chain.

Steven Norris: grumpy curmudgeon


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