An app for Google Glass called InSight will help users identify their friends based on their clothing, even when the user can’t see their face.
According to New Scientist, the app, which was partially funded by Google, debuted at the HotMobile technology conference in Keyll Island, Georgia last week. The app can identify people based on their clothing and will overlay the person’s name on the Google Glass display, so users can easily remember their names.
The app uses a recognition system based on the idea of a “fashion fingerprint.” The app creates profiles for other people based on colors, patterns and textures they wear. That profile, called a spatiogram, make it easy to identify individual people any almost any angle and from distances.
In one early test, the team was able to identify people from a group of 15 volunteers 93 percent of the time. With other data, the percentage can increase. Data such as a person’s gait can increase accuracy dramatically as each person has a unique gait.
Such data may even make it easier to identify people over a period of time. In its current state InSight can only identify people for a short period of time: the time in which they wear the same outfit.
Identifying people by their clothes does help ease privacy concerns, as it can’t identify people once they change their clothes. But using other data can make it easier to identify people when meeting them a second time at least a day later.
The InSight team says the app can help users in various scenarios including trying to get their résumé noticed at a job fair or event trying to sell an extra ticket at a concert or sporting. It’s not exactly clear how this will help during those situations, however.
As New Scientist points out, the app can also help those who suffer from facial blindness, a disorder which makes it impossible to recognize others by their faces.