A Swedish firm, The Astonishing Tribe, is taking augmented reality to the next level with its new Android app, which they call Recognizr. The app allows you to gather information on a person and their online life simply by pointing your camera phone at their face.
Here is how the app works: the user points the camera at a person. Face recognition software creates a 3-D model of the person's face and sends it across a server where it's matched with an identity in the database. The server then sends back the subject's name as well as links to any social networking sites the person has provided access to.
As of now there is no privacy issue with the app as users have to opt into the service and upload a photo and profile in order to be ID'd by the system.
While it seems very cool, I cannot comprehend why anyone would want to sign into service like that. Will people really like their online profiles to be visible by a complete stranger they just passed by on the street? I certainly would not.
Another concern is how long till someone develops a similar app that identifies anyone without requiring them to opt into their service. The technology used in the Recognizer app combined with appropriate data mining techniques can create applications that will blow away the privacy of anyone with a web presence.