OrCam MyMe Uses Artificial Vision to Remember Faces

New device takes technology meant to assist the vision impaired and uses it to learn and catalog faces and names.

Amnon Shashua and Ziv Aviram developed Mobileye as collision avoidance system, and later created the OrCam, a camera that could take artificial vision and help people blind or visually impaired. Their current project is an extension of the OrCam, the OrCam MyMe. The MyMe is said to be an artificial intelligence vision system that will help the user to know his or herself better. The MyMe is running a Kickstarter campaign to fund the first production run of components.

MyMe’s biggest feature is facial recognition and it also can scan and sync business cards and name tags to keep track of the people you meet. The team felt that society gets more and more data and putting a face to a name can be a difficult task, so a software to put the name to the face would give users a little help. The user can also make groups in the app and track how much time is spent with each group or specific people. The company says that no data will be sent to the cloud, as a way to protect the privacy of the user and the people who come into contact with the user.                                                                                 

The device houses a 13 megapixel camera with Bluetooth Low Energy and WiFi connectivity. The system is 22 x 64 x 17 millimeters and weighs 17.2 grams. These dimensions include the metal clip that attaches MyMe to the user’s pocket. The 320 milliAmpHour battery is said to be good for one day on a charge, and the system operates between 0 and 32 degrees Celsius.

MyMe is, once you’ve heard the idea, an obvious extension of facial and text recognition. The older I get the more problems I have remembering faces and names and words, and having a directory that effortlessly tells me who I met at what time and where seems very helpful. Like most comment pages the Kickstarter comment page is full of people questioning whether or not this technology should exist and questions the ethical privacy concerns of a random person who comes under the gaze of a camera. It’s hard to delineate between the software used as a tool to aid a vision impaired person to live and then a second use of that technology to help a person who can’t remember names. At this point I would error on the side of technology, like people in the beginning of many science fiction movies who don’t know what is happening until it’s far too late. The MyMe Kickstarter campaign is already successfully funded and ends on January 12. This video is not the official campaign video but felt like a better respresentation of the tech, the app, and its various uses.