Shore, developed by the Fraunhofer Institute for Integrated Circuits IIS, is a revolutionary app for Google Glass that is able to recognize human emotions.
The Sophisticated High-speed Object Recognition app, or Shore, uses the camera of the Google Glass to analyze the facial expressions of people and guess their feelings.
Shore makes its guess for a person's emotions through calculations that are based on the structures of the human face. Shore then uses learning algorithms and a database of more than 10,000 human faces to finish the calculation.
In addition to the person's emotions, the app is also able to estimate the subject's age and gender.
It is apps just like Shore that have been the cause of privacy concerns for Google Glass. There is practically no indication that the user of the device is using its camera, so the user may take pictures or record video without the knowledge or consent of the subject. The idea of someone being able to take a picture and then instantly looking up all the information online through a single, discreet eyewear device can be deemed troubling for some.
For Shore to work, though, it has to access a live, active video feed from the camera of the Google Glass. Having a sight trained on a person with Google Glass while Shore is making its calculations would make it obvious that the user is up to something. In addition, even if the app is developed to work at a much faster rate, using the video camera of Google Glass will drain its battery pretty fast, which means that this can't be used for everyone that the user comes across every day.
On the other hand, despite the potential privacy and security issues that the app and device may overstep, Shore may prove to be beneficial for some. Visually impaired people and those with disorders such as autism find it hard to read a person's emotions through their facial expressions. These individuals may stand to benefit from using the Shore app on Google Glass to be able to better understand the feelings of other people.
According to Fraunhofer, Shore may also have applications for interactive video games and market research.
Google Glass is not yet available to the public. However, apps like Shore already showcase the innovation that developers can create to be used on such a unique device.