Glass also makes activities that you would not want to do with a smartphone more desirable, such as facial recognition. It would be embarrassing to hold up your smartphone camera to try to identify someone who you’re not sure whether you’ve met before. But an app for doctors called MedRefGlass, developed by Lance Nanek in New York is more subtle. It takes a photo, then uploads it to an online analysis and recognition service called BetaFace. This matches the picture against the faces of previous patients and, if it recognises it, serves up medical information about the person.
It appears that face recognition technology is becoming so useable that I’ve got to wonder if there is any point in looking for a cure or a treatment for prosopagnosia. This type of technology could be more useful for a person with impaired facial recognition ability than it would be for a doctor, and I imagine many people with normal face recognition ability could also find a similar app useful.
The privacy implication of improper access to MedRefGlass by non-doctors is quite alarming, but I guess it’s the same concern that applies to any database of medical records. I guess it’s one way to prompt doctors to actually look at a patient’s medical record during a consultation, and that can only be a good thing.
Campbell, MacGregor Google Glass apps show off what headset can really do. New Scientist. 22 May 2013 Magazine issue 2918, p. 19-20. http://www.newscientist.com/article/mg21829185.400-google-glass-apps-show-off-what-headset-can-really-do.html#.Ud_1SPk3B8E