Gamers’ best friend – a remote controller – will soon be able to analyze your heart rate and spy on your sweat; Apple is trying to clean up its reputation; you may not even dream of nicotine until the age of 21; Airbnb will keep an eye on guests – find more in our tech digest.
Airbnb wants to spy on guests
Airbnb strongly recommends landlords to use special devices to prevent parties, porn video shootings, and deliberate damage of property. Earlier, we wrote that such stuff can actually happen.
The company does not plan to produce surveillance devices but offers to purchase them on its website instead. For instance, the Minut device monitors noise, temperature, and movement in the rented premises. Formally, the company does not prohibit lessors from installing even surveillance cameras, but obliges them to warn tenants about it and forbids masking “bugs.” So if a teddy bear’s eye is suspiciously glowing with red, be quick to inform the support team.
Apple has blocked a face recognition app: the company’s first step on its way to doing better
Earlier, we wrote about the fact that the company took the first step on a slippery slope and risked losing the love of millions.
Last week, Apple blocked the Clearview app that helped recognize faces. This application was actively used by the Migration Service and FBI (which is quite understandable) as well as by Macy’s and Walmart supermarket chains. 2000 organizations have searched for it for 500 thousand times since the app’s launch.
The company’s website claims that the app is not a tracking tool at all. For example, analysts can upload a photo from a crime scene there and then compare it to other photos in the app’s database. This database has 3 billion images from all over the Internet, including the latest profile photos of each person along with pictures from 15 years ago. Statistics show that half of the companies that used the app used its free trial version.
A remote controller that is spying on gamers
DualShock 5 is a fifth-generation PlayStation consoles controller that will track the heart rate and the amount of sweating of gamers. Such biofeedback will be relevant in view of the development of VR technologies; it will also be able to change the reality on its own and thus provide “an immersive and highly interactive experience for players.”
Don’t even dare to dream about nicotine until you’re 21
Studies show that in 2018, 20% of American teenagers used Juul e-cigarettes, whereas 8% of them smoked regular cigarettes. If you dig deeper, it becomes clear that Juul in just a digitalization of tobacco because by one third, Juul is owned by the tobacco industry giant called Altria.
FDA (Food and Drug Administration) has accused Juul of promoting vaping among teens, adversely affecting the brand’s image. Juul acted in a clever way and decided to appease the FDA with a new device that can only be unlocked by vapers older than 21 years old. The Juul C1 device is connected to the smartphone via Bluetooth. In a special app, you can calculate the number of puffs and block the cigarette if it was lost. To activate C1, you need to go through a two-factor verification of identity through third-party databases and pass the age control through face recognition of the smoker.
It’s time to show one’s true colors! You won’t fool the face recognition technology anymore anyway
A backstory: ten members of the European Union demand an update to the Prüm Convention that now allows member states to exchange DNA, vehicle registration data, and fingerprints. They plan to create a facial recognition database.
Some European politicians criticized automatic facial recognition, some protested in India, Hong Kong, and the USA. Activist employees in such companies as Google, Microsoft, and Amazon demanded to cancel governmental projects in the field of automatic face recognition. Because of the data leak, it turned out that they were actively working on the creation of a single database for face recognition.
Meanwhile, among the coronavirus outbreak in China, the SenseTime company uses a face recognition system for which faces wearing masks are not a problem. For the first time, people found out about masked face recognition technology in 2017. A team of Stanford scientist Amarjot Singh taught artificial intelligence to recognize faces wearing glasses, fake mustaches, and other fake stuff by 14 key points on the face. SenseTime technology identifies faces by 240 key points, so it’s enough for it to only see a person’s nose or eyes.