But Li and Ning Xu, CEO of Orebus Inc., believe that the Google ban on facial recognition won't last forever. The company plans to soon launch its open software tool-kit service, called Rekognition, for Google Glass.
"It's mostly a temporary and symbolic action that Google took to minimize risks of privacy charges in this very sensitive time," Li said. "We believe the facial-recognition tech would eventually be adopted by Google Glass or any other wearable computing devices, simply because it is useful."
Google itself has shown a strong interest in facial recognition, despite its recent ban on the technology for Google Glass. The company previously bought Pittsburgh Pattern Recognition, a Carnegie Mellon University startup focused on facial recognition, in 2011. More recently, Google filed a patent June 4 for using goofy facial expressions to unlock Android smartphones or tablets.
In the end, facial recognition on smartphones or smart glasses may simply represent the latest step in the evolution of modern life from private to public. Billions of people already share photos and intimate information about their lives on Facebook, Twitter and other online services to an extent that would have seemed crazy just 10 years ago, Li said. She suggested that privacy issues surrounding facial recognition represent big but solvable concerns.