Imagine you are at a party, someone greets you by name and enthuses about seeing you again. However, you have no idea who they are. This is a problem regularly experienced by those who suffer from prosopagnosia, more commonly known as face blindness. A start-up company called SocialRecall thinks that augmented reality (AR) could help suffers in those awkward social situations.
Prosopagnosia is a neurological condition which causes people to struggle to recognise people they have met, even those they have known for years, or even decades. SocialRecall, founded by Harvard neuroscience Ph.D Barry Sandrew thinks AR might be the answer.
SocialRecall is aiming to develop an AR app which uses facial recognition technology along with AR to help people with face-blindness be reminded of people they meet and interact with.
“It breaks down the wall between people and allows them to interact without the customary formal introduction,” Sandrew told Digital Trends. “No need to ask any questions. You know them already. If you remember the old comedy sitcom Cheers, the neighborhood bar where everybody knows your name? Well, this app creates a Cheers-type atmosphere at the stuffiest of parties and gatherings.”
The app will allow event planners to create events where attendees need to sign in via social media. For the duration of that event, the app will link an attendees face to their profile page by using facial recognition technology and smartphone cameras to match the two together. “The camera does not take pictures; it merely sees a face, searches the database. and shows a person’s information, along with their company name,” Sandrew explained.
Sandrew expects the app will become more popular and useful once AR smart glasses become more popular, saying: “Once there are augmented reality smartglasses, the application will really become empowering to people who are shy or who are uncomfortable in social situations,” he said.
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