San Francisco-based startup Lambda Labs has announced that it is going to release its facial recognition API for Google Glass, says TechCrunch. The API will be available to developers in a week, according to the company’s co-founder Stephen Balaban.
The facial recognition API differs from Google’s own API at a very fundamental level. The closest thing Glass has to facial recognition so far has a number of steps involved – taking a picture, uploading it to a server, letting the server detect faces in the picture and then getting the information back. Once Google’s new Glass SDK is out, however, facial recognition could get a boost in speed.
According to Balaban, the API will enable apps such as “remember this face,” “find your friends in a crowd,” “networking event interest matching,” and “intelligent contact books,” among others.
The facial recognition seems spot on… except for the part with Jennifer Aniston
“There is nothing in the Glass Terms of Service that explicitly prevents us from doing this. However, there is a risk that Google may change the ToS in an attempt to stop us from providing this functionality,” Balaban says. ”This is the first face recognition toolkit for Glass, so we’re just not sure how Google, or the privacy caucus, will react.”
The privacy caucus that Balaban mentioned referred to the Congressional inquiry in the US earlier in May. Eight members of the US Congress had contacted Google boss Larry Page with questions about Glass and its impact on security. The group is the Bi-Partisan Privacy Caucus that is led by Joe Barton – a Republican from Texas.
Google has said that the company has no plans for facial recognition technology making it to Glass for now. Glass Director of Product Management Steve Lee told the New York Times, “We’ve consistently said that we won’t add new face recognition features to our services unless we have strong privacy protections in place.”
At the moment, Google's API policies don't prohibit other developers from making APIs for facial recognition, but the company might change that.