INNOVATION

The Next Fashion Trend Could Hide You From Facial Recognition Systems

It's technology for fashionistas.

05/01/2017 4:09 PM AEDT | Updated 08/01/2017 4:22 PM AEDT
Twitter/Ece Tankal, Federico Kukso
The next big thing in fashion could be clothes that avoid facial recognition.

It's 2017 and, let's face it, technology is changing super rapidly.

Facebook now decides what is 'trending' for you, Amazon lets customers buy from stores where there are no check-out lines or staff, and message encryption is now a thing as online safety and personal security become more prevalent among online users.

And now it seems the next big step in technology innovation could be on what you wear.

Berlin-based artist and researcher Adam Harvey has developed a line of anti-surveillance clothing and textiles with such a unique design printed on them that they could overwhelm facial recognition systems and protect the privacy of your identity.

Harvey's Hyperface project launches on January 16 and involves camouflage designs that appear to have multiple face-like patterns in an attempt to confuse any facial recognition system that requires eyes, a nose and a mouth to identify someone.

Speaking at the Chaos Communications Congress hacking conference in Hamburg, Harvey said Hyperface works at "overloading an algorithm with what it wants, oversaturating an area with faces to divert the gaze of the computer vision algorithm," according to The Guardian.

According to Harvey, the designs can also be worn or used in order to blanket an area around an individual so as to possibly protect the privacy of multiple people.

"It can be used to modify the environment around you, whether it's someone next to you, whether you're wearing it, maybe around your head or in a new way," he said.

Harvey has created the line of clothing in conjunction with Hyphen-Labs, an international interaction studio that focuses on technology, art and design, and believes the innovative textile could be a turning point in the fashion world.

"In 100 years from now, we're going to have a... transformation of fashion and the way that we appear. What will that look like? Hopefully it will look like something that appears to optimise our personal privacy," he said.

The project is the second creation for Harvey who was the brains behind the CV Dazzle project -- a line of aesthetic makeup and hairstyling aimed at obscuring an individual's face to protect them from face-detection technologies.

In his talk in Hamburg, Harvey claimed facial recognition systems are becoming so advanced, an individual's face can now be picked up from aspects as simple as lip curvature, according to the Daily Mail UK.

"The real criminal, in these cases, are people who are perpetrating this idea, not the people who are being looked at," he said.

While the patterns are still under development, updates are expected to be released along with product photos following the project's launch on January 16.

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