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These glasses make you ‘invisible’

The catch? You have to wear these glasses.


Alex La Ferla


Posted on Mar 2, 2015   Updated on May 29, 2021, 10:14 am CDT

Facial-recognition technology is becoming increasingly sophisticated. Luckily, the likelihood of having your picture taken and linked to you without your knowledge or consent has opened a market for bizarre wearables to keep your mug out of the spotlight.

The newest item in this category comes from security specialist AVG, and promises to thwart most unwanted attempts to recognize your face. The catch: You’re going to look more than a little bit ridiculous with a pair of these on.


AVG announced yesterday that it was unveiling its “Invisibility glasses” at Pepcom in Barcelona just before the festivities kicked off at this year’s Mobile World Congress. The glasses were developed at the AVG Innovation Labs and employ two distinct technologies for avoiding facial recognition.

The glasses work by using a combination of infrared light and special retro-reflective materials. Infrared light can’t be seen by the human eye, but is picked up by cameras. The small LEDs placed on the glasses frames emit this light, causing a glow in photographs that makes it difficult to get a read on your face. Many smartphone cameras today come equipped with infrared sensors sensitive enough to block this light, however, presenting a serious drawback to this approach.

As an alternative, AVG also uses retro-reflective materials, which are specially designed to reflect light back at the same exact angle from which it came, creating a bright flash that hampers recognition.


Those hoping to score a pair of these bad boys might be out of luck, unfortunately. “Don’t expect to see them for sale anytime soon,” warns AVG, which adds that the item is currently in the proof of concept stage. So until these glasses are ready to hit the market, those of us looking to avoid detection may have to resort to this timeless classic.

Photo via AVG

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*First Published: Mar 2, 2015, 11:19 am CST