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Editor’s Note: This post was originally published on Seattle 2.0, and imported to GeekWire as part of our acquisition of Seattle 2.0 and its archival content. For more background, see this post.

By Matt Paulin

From time to time on this blog, I like to suggest a fun theme and see what ideas we can come up with.  This gives everyone a chance to play around with ideation.  One theme I like a lot, is imagining what happens after a game changing technology is suddenly practical.  Maybe the technology is a new material, or a new service.  For this month I chose face recognition.

Face recognition is one of those technologies that will most likely alter all of our behaviors.  For right now the technology is slow and not as efficient as necessary but, any day now, a new service might show up on the web. Lets just say that you can send this new service a picture, and it sends you back the names of the people in the picture almost instantly.  

I posed this question to the Seattle Think Tank mailing list and got back a bunch of ideas and information.  Below is a summary of the ideas, counter ideas, and links that came out of it.

Ideas for new services/products:

  1. Google indexing the entire web so your picture, everywhere, is linked to one place.
  2. A service to help you find a stunt double, you put in your picture, and get back anyone else who the service thinks, looks like you.
  3. A service to tell you what celebrity you look like.
  4. Facedar: Watch for pictures of a particular person to show up online: google alerts meets face recognition
  5. iSeeFamousPeople: A mobile app that uses the camera to constantly scan for for celebrities, put that on top of augmented reality and it can highlight any famous people near you.
  6. Auto Paparazzi: A camera runs constantly, if it recognizes a famous person, it takes a picture, then sends it to a magazine -> money from magazine goes into your paypal account
  7. Webcam -> -> user name -> facebook -> now you know the demographics of everyone walking by.  Advertising?  Finding the perfect place for a new shoe store?
  8. Angry driver chasing you? take a picture->  get a name -> then a phone number ->  = a guy in India calls him and talks him down…
  9. Security camera service for schools and neighbors where the cameras scan for known criminals and predators.
  10. Targeted ads and referrals based on personalized trending. Following what tracked people wear and the places they go to, and then targeting them, their friends and the people following them with referral based ads could generate decent revenue.
  11. Crowd sourcing fashion. Use cameras to detect what people are wearing and where they are.  Figure out what the trends of a community are.
  12. Face recognition to track trendsetters.  After you have identified a trendsetter, use cameras to see what trend they are setting.
  13. Auto check-in on foursquare.  Why even use mobile devices to check-in?  Just have a camera setup at the bar/restaurant and use face recognition to see who came in.
  14. Find lost relatives.  Using a seed database of pictures to look for, have the system look at public cameras to find images of them. Better for missing children than milk cartons.
  15. Find potential relatives.  Given pictures of you and your siblings, use the face recognition to identify potential lost siblings.

Ideas to stop these new services/products:

  1. A no fly list for face recognition
  2. Filing a few patents on all this before it became viable and then suing everyone to stop doing it. Put patent trolling tactics to use in protecting people.
  3. Fashionable masks and glasses to confuse the software

Interesting links:

Here are a few links that came up showing where this technology is and what people might be doing with it next.

Hope you found this a fun distraction.  Feel free to add your own ideas to the comments of this blog.  If you have other ideas for themes, please tell me.  Maybe we can brainstorm on that.

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