March 3, 2011
An enormous amount of time and money has gone into securing computers from hackers and other threats. Everything from virus and malware scanners to firewalls help to keep our data safe online. Despite these efforts, sometimes the real threat to your data security may not be on the Internet but rather, in the same room as you. It’s very easy for someone to look over your shoulder in the office, coffee shop, or on an airplane and see credit card numbers, bank statements or other personal information. For a while the only real solution to this problem was the use of privacy filters that attached to the screen from companies like 3M and Kingston, but they tend to be clunky and clumsy especially if you’re using a laptop or notebook on the go. More importantly, they only provide protection if someone is looking at your monitor from an angle. If someone is right behind you, looking over your shoulder, they can still see your screen.
Now a Baltimore based startup named Oculis Labs has created not one, but two very interesting solutions to this issue. The first product which is geared towards consumers is called PrivateEye. PrivateEye blurs the screen when a user looks away from the screen or when someone else is looking at the screen behind them. This is all accomplished using an ordinary webcam and a combination of facial recognition and eye tracking. I downloaded the 30-day free trial and I have to say this product is amazing. I was blown away by how well it worked. The only bummer is that there is no Mac version of PrivateEye.
The second solution that Oculis Labs offers is geared more for Government and Military applications. It is called Chameleon, and it definitely lives up to its name. It accomplishes what PrivateEye does but in a much cooler way (if you can believe that). Using a portable gaze-tracker and specialized software that Oculis has developed, Chameleon allows users to read sensitive information on the screen while making it look like complete gibberish to anyone else in the room.
Both products are truly amazing. Here is a video demo of both PrivateEye and Chameleon.
If you’re in the Baltimore or DC area, be sure to check out Oculis Labs as they demo their products at the first Tech Cocktail Baltimore on Thursday, March 1st from 6:30-930.
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