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Remember Dazzle, the method of complex geometric camouflage painting introduced in WWI (designed to disguise the direction, size, and types of ships at sea)? Last year, ITP student Adam Harvey’s Dazzle CV project brought a similar technology to modern facial recognition software. Using hair and make-up tricks, Adam realized you could fairly easily defeat facial recognition algorithms found in CV software and face-recog bots like the ones that Facebook and Flickr uses. And, you get to look like a neo-tribal cyberpunk in the process. He describes CV Dazzle as “antagonistic technology.” Eye of HAL, your move. [Thanks, Jake!]

CV Dazzle

Gareth Branwyn

Gareth Branwyn is a freelancer writer and the former Editorial Director of Maker Media. He is the author or editor of a dozen books on technology, DIY, and geek culture, including the first book about the web (Mosaic Quick Tour) and the Absolute Beginner’s Guide to Building Robots. He is currently working on a best-of collection of his writing, called Borg Like Me.



  1. Anonymous says:

    Brilliant– as Keith just pointed out (offline), we’re willingly building the database of faces ourselves.  We wondered if some day pupil recognition could be done at a distance, even on someone who’s wearing a mask.  Goli just saw people in the Amsterdam airport do express check-in by looking into a pupil-recognition camera.

  2. It is ironic that the way to make yourself unrecognizable to computers makes you unforgettable to humans. I wonder if just sticking on a couple of stickers with eyes on them near your real eyes would be effective.

  3. Daniel Hughes says:

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  5. daddyvortex says:

    Soooooo, the algorithm should be modified to detect face camo possibility leading to one of those TSA pull-asides at least at airports.

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