NameTag, a creepy Robocop style facial recognition app for Google Glass and smartphones
NameTag, a creepy Robocop style facial recognition app for smartphones and Google GlassNameTag

An app for Google Glass which can scan your face in real time and identify you through publicly-available, online information app won't be distributed through Google's official app store for the wearable headset.

NameTag enables you to take a photo of someone - either using your smartphone or while wearing Google Glass - and the app then searches for matches online.

If it finds a match, the app will return all of that person's information which is available from sites like Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and any other social media.

Criminal database

The app will also scan dating sites such as PlentyOfFish.com, OkCupid.com and Match.com and it will even allow you check photos against the 450,000 entries in the National Sex Offender Registry and other criminal databases in the US.

Google Glass

While face-recognition apps on smartphones are not new, Google has previously said that it won't be allowing the technology to be used on its controversial Glass device.

Despite this, NameTag's creators have created an app for Google Glass which has the ability to scan the faces of multiple people at the same time and look for identity matches immediately.

Google's Glass developer policies do not allow for Glassware (the name for Glass software) that supports any form of facial recognition technology, and the internet giant has confirmed to Phandroid that it will definitely not be distributing the app on its app store.

Societal benefits

However this is not putting off the creators of the app, who said it the press release for NameTag: 

"Google has announced that facial recognition will not yet be supported for Glass; undoubtedly due to pressure from privacy groups but FacialNetwork.com believes that by providing applications with such vast societal benefits, Google will eventually reconsider."

Making social interactions "safer"

Speaking about the Glass app, NameTag's creator Kevin Alan Tussy said: "It's much easier to meet interesting new people when we can simply look at someone, see their Facebook, review their LinkedIn page or maybe even see their dating site profile. Often we were interacting with people blindly or not interacting at all. NameTag on Google Glass can change all that. 

"I believe that this will make online dating and offline social interactions much safer and give us a far better understanding of the people around us."

The app has yet to not been released for iOS or Android, and is currently in beta testing mode for Google Glass. Neither Google or Apple has commented on the app's availability in its mobile app stores.

Can NameTag get by without Google?

Google Glass is currently only availabe to a limited number of people, but a consumer release is expected this year. As with smartphones, it is expected that many people will look to 'jailbreak' their Glass units in order to install software not approved by Google.

If this does happen, the developer could therefore still distribute the app themselves, meaning we could soon see a world where spy agencies and cybercriminals are using Glass to identify potential targets.

The developer says that it doesn't want to invade users' privacy, and is working on a website that users will be able to access and opt out of having their information displayed through NameTag.

"It's about connecting people that want to be connected. We will even allow users to have one profile that is seen during business hours and another that is only seen in social situations. NameTag can make the big, anonymous world we live in as friendly as a small town," Tussy explains.

FacialNetwork.com has filed a patent for its real-time facial recognition technology and says that its investors include "some very well-respected individuals and venture funds".