Bill Gates Files Anti-Google Glass Camera Detection Patent

Wednesday, April 16, 2014 - 12:35 PM

Looks like Bill Gates is firing some shots at Google Glass. A new patent on which Gates is listed as an inventor proposes a technology that would blur computer monitors or alert users when a camera is present.

Granted, cameras are not just in Google Glass, they're in everything these days - cell phones, laptops, they're even on the sides of buildings. But only recently have they become part of a soon-to-be ubiquitous eyewear that could easily record over you shoulder as you, say, check your balance on an ATM or enter sensitive information at your terminal at work. Even the illustration from the patent (seen at the top of the article) pictures an interloper not holding a camera or a cellphone, but wearing conspicuous looking glasses. 

Still, as near as I can tell from reading the patent, the camera will be detected by - what else? - a camera. It's like a panopticon arms race that everyone loses because they will be recorded at every angle. Even protecting yourself from surveillance requires a form of surveillance. But it's not as though you aren't already on camera at an ATM, and if this technology will protect you from getting your identity stolen, that would be tremendously useful.

(H/T Geekwire)


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Comments [4]


Why not just polarize the glass or apply that dark tint only viewable from a close angle? Seems a lot more "secure" than cameras on cameras.

Apr. 18 2014 08:28 AM

It sounds like you are gunning for it to be "soon-to-be ubiquitous eyewear," Alex -- which is a little curious, being that you're a journalist. As you may know, many of us in the Bay Area aren't really quite as enthusiastic as you appear to be -- meaning, wearers, testers, privacy advocates, people interested in the nexus of technology and society (as you are). Far from ubiquitous, and certainly it's not destiny that it should become so.

Apr. 17 2014 03:57 PM
Ray from NY

Bill Gates is an Ass.

Apr. 17 2014 12:26 PM
Kyle Schaefer from South Dakota

Whoa! That's Controversial!

Apr. 16 2014 05:18 PM

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TLDR is a short podcast and blog about the internet by Meredith Haggerty. You can subscribe to the TLDR podcast here. You can follow our blog here. I tweet @manymanywords and @tldr.

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