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Bay Area Researcher Developing Facial Recognition Glasses To Help Stop Crime

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Atheer founder Allen Yang models a prototype of his company's 3D facial recognition glasses. (CBS)

Atheer founder Allen Yang models a prototype of his company’s 3D facial recognition glasses. (CBS)

Linda-Yee_BIO-HEAD Linda Yee
Linda Yee has been a general assignment reporter for KPIX 5 Eyewitness...
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MOUNTAIN VIEW (KPIX 5) – By now, you have probably heard about the Google Glass wearable computer. Soon, a Mountain View startup will begin selling 3-D eyewear with technology so sophisticated, it could help crime fighters stop crime before it happens.

It’s not a new concept. The 2002 Hollywood film “Minority Report” gave us a look into the future when actor Tom Cruise catches and arrests a criminal before he commits the crime.

Allen Yang is a University of California at Berkeley researcher and founder of Atheer, the startup developing the glasses.

The 3-D glasses are a wearable computer where users are wirelessly immersed in their own computer through virtual images.

“…And it’s streaming live from the internet to your glasses,” said Theo Goguely, senior product manager at Atheer.

The glasses will ultimately be used by business for work or for regular users for entertainment.

One could put on their glasses and instantly see a 3-D screen with a daytime calendar with a list of things to do. The smart glasses can assist users looking at their kitchen cupboard and they will help visualize nutritional needs.

One of its goals is for use by law enforcement. For example, police wearing the glasses could scan a crowd and possibly locate a suspect or a lost child.

This technology could have helped police find the suspects in the Boston Marathon bombing sooner. Although police had images of the suspects, it took investigators days to identify them. Current facial recognition programs were limited in identifying the low resolution images of the suspects from surveillance cameras.

But Yang said Atheer has developed a better mousetrap. Even if 60 percent of the image is corrupted, Yang said his company’s technology can convert it to an identifiable image.

Yang said the program will be available within two or three years and could help police identify known suspects before they commit another crime.

“In the optimal scenario, they can actually get an alert when they’re patrolling on the streets and they can prevent something from happening before even the event happens,” said Yang.

In addition, the program can be used on surveillance cameras on bridges, roads or buildings to help find missing or kidnapped people.

The 3-D glasses will available next month. The cost: $350 for a model that connects to smart phones and $850 for the standalone version.

All of the programs are still in the early stages of development.

Are you concerned about facial recognition technology scanning you everywhere you go? Comment on KPIX 5’s Facebook Page:

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