Bill Gates files patent to protect you from ‘Glassholes’

Giuseppe Macri Tech Editor
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Google opened up Glass for sale to the general public for the first time Tuesday, and Bill Gates is already taking steps to protect you from the wearable tech that’s become infamous for its ability to record and eavesdrop at a tilt of the head.

Even at $1,500 per device, you can expect to see a lot more of the wearable tech walking around and inciting incidents with people and places not so fond of its ability to inconspicuously invade privacy. Microsoft’s cofounder apparently shares those concerns.

A recently surfaced patent from Microsoft naming Gates specifically as the inventor details technology for computers and mobile devices that alert users to any cameras within their vicinity, and blurs or edits the content displayed on their device in order to protect it from being recorded and surveilled.

The “intruder analysis module” is capable of scanning digital single-lens reflex cameras, point-and-shoot digital cameras, camera-equipped cellphones, building-mounted security cameras and more using a “number of detection algorithms.” Those sensors include motion (like movement of a security camera), shape (including that of a camera lens), orientation (to determine line of sight) and more, according to the patent’s description.

“In this manner, sensitive content can be protected from being captured by unauthorized cameras,” the patent explains. “Similar embodiments are also useful in public locations or while a user is taking public transportation, where intruding cameras are likely to be present.”

The technology described is even sensitive enough to determine whether or not a possible “intruder” like a professional DSLR has a lens cap in place, implying the “processing circuit” won’t be unnecessarily and over-anxiously blurring your screen in response to non-threatening devices.

Gates’ patent is the second in a series according to GeekWire, but does not list a specific device or date for release.

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