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title imagePrototype

PrivacyVisor provides a basic solution to the problem of getting caught up in other people's photographs now that camera-equipped smartphone, tablets, and other handheld devices have become practically ubiquitous.

Once it's released, PrivacyVisor will have enormous global market potential by enabling wearers to...

"Protect their own personal privacy in a world of ever-present cameras and facial recognition software."

Now that Facebook, Twitter, and other social networking services have become so immensely popular, people have gotten used to sharing their photos almost immediately over the Internet. And Google Glass and other smart optical displays are also expected to be widely adopted. With their facial recognition and social network sharing capabilities, Google Glass will have a major impact on society and on our everyday lives.

This widespread acceptance of camera- and facial recognition-equipped devices is already intruding on our personal privacy. It has become quite common to have our picture taken while we are unaware (usually unintentionally), and then posted on Facebook or some other social network. And once your face is on the Internet, it becomes vulnerable to exploitation. It is not difficult to figure out the time, the location, and the identity of a person from a photo, and that opens you up to victimization and all sorts of cyber criminal mischief.

Efforts are also under way to bolster people's privacy at the system level.by enacting new laws, through voluntary restraint of service providers, and so on.but this takes time, and new systematic safeguards are far from complete. Meanwhile, just entrusting smartphone owners to exercise discretion leaves one feeling vulnerable and exposed. This is precisely where PrivacyVisor comes in, for it provides

A way to block facial recognition and protect people's privacy when they are out in public places.

With its unique privacy-protection capabilities, PrivacyVisor is poised to become a major product offering in the thriving market for privacy control products that is already starting to emerge.


Capabilities We continue to refine and assess the basic concept of PrivacyVisor developed by Isao Echizen, professor at the National Institute of Informatics: a smart way to thwart facial recognition to keep one's face off the Internet.
Patent protection

Patent application has been submitted for a novel privacy control scheme. Patent Application 2012-238335. A PCT application has also been filed.

PrivacyVisor is a registered trademark in Japan. Trademark applications have also been filed in the U.S., Europe, and China.

Potential Market Potential market in the IT sector (conducted search of 2012-13 industry trends), which is far larger (by 30 times) than the eyewear industry. No one knows the scale of the privacy control technologies market in the future, but you can bet it will be expanding.
Simple configuration The product does not require a power supply and is very simple.
Flexibility So long as the lenses and frame meet certain conditions that support device functionality, PrivacyVisor is quite flexible.
product imagePrototype
Fashionable Lenses can be configured in an original pattern and bear a logo.
Release date Spring of 2015
Media coverage

Theoretical development of PrivacyVisor has been widely reported in Japan and around the world.

Earlier version of PrivacyVisor based on LEDs

World TV coverage

BBC News
Discovery Channel

Other global media coverage

TIME, BBC, NBC, ABC, NY Times, Spiegel, ACM Tech News, and over 300 other publications

Domestic coverage

TV Tokyo, World Business Satellite
TBS JNN News
Nihon Keizai Shimbun
Mynavi News, and many other journals and papers

PrivacyVisor not requiring any power supply

Nihon Keizai Shimbun, morning edition, page 7 (June 2, 2013)
Yomiuri Shimbun, evening edition, page 9 (May 22, 2014)
NHK News Watch 9 (Oct. 29, 2013): "Facial recognition presents challenge of protecting privacy"
TV Tokyo World Business Satellite (Nov. 8, 2013): "Privacy Protecting Glasses"
BBC Click (Jan. 25, 2014)
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