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Culture

HyperFace: fabric that aims to thwart facial recognition

We all know we’re being watched. We willingly click away our privacy with every social network sign up. Amazon Go, the brand new, seemingly magical, no checkout store just opened in the UK, and uses facial scanning to charge you, with zero friction.

Most of us seem to be absolutely fine with handing over privacy for immediacy.

For those of us who aren’t, there’s an artist, speakin’ your language.

HyperFace OpenCV Prototype ©Adam Harvey

HyperFace OpenCV Prototype ©Adam Harvey

Adam Harvey,  a technologist and artist in Berlin, has designed a pattern, printed on fabric that “aims to reduce the confidence score of facial detection and recognition by providing false faces that distract computer vision algorithms”. The project, called “HyperFace”, is a collaboration with members of Hyphen Labs – Ashley Baccus-Clark, Carmen Aguilar y Wedge, Ece Tankal, Nitzan Bartov, and JB Rubinovitz. This piece is part of their larger NeuroSpeculative AfroFeminism salon, showing at Sundance Film Festival, next week.

How does it work? It provides maximally activated false faces based on ideal algorithmic representations of a human face. Basically, a many faces printed on the fabric will confuse the recognition camera.

This pixelated camouflage look is actually quite stylish… and yes we see the irony of vanity in an anti-facial recognition post.


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