Google Glass is about to receive access to a new facial recognition API developed by California-based Lambda Labs.
Company co-founder Stephen Balaban said that the API will be available to any interested developer as soon as the app goes into final release this week.
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New API For Google Glass
The new API, tailored specifically for Google Glass, will enable object recognition apps such as “remember the face” or “intelligent contact books” to instantly scan the face of an individual and match its information with the faces stored in the database.
According to Techcrunch, the recognition API went into beta last year and is currently in use by 1,000 developers, including some big international software firms.
With 5 million calls per month, the API is growing 15 percent every month. However, Lambda Labs’ announcement comes close to a Congressional inquiry about potential privacy threats that the Google Glass may pose to its users and the people around them.
“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,” the company’s co-founder Stephen 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.”
In an answer to one of the questions about whether or not Google Glass would have support for facial recognition, Steve Lee, Google Glass director of product management replied, “We’ve consistently said that we won’t add new face recognition features to our services unless we have strong privacy protections in place.”
So now the success of Lambda Labs’ recognition API depends on the Congressional Privacy Caucus’ reaction to the new development. If Google manages to address user privacy concerns, as expressed by the privacy Caucus, and no action is taken against the tech, the chances of its success seem potentially high.