Slightly over a year ago, Google produced and released an application for smart phones, Google Arts & Culture. Interestingly enough, the app did not become a huge success until very recently. This application offers a variety of features which allow you to find your favorite pieces of artwork, create your own collections and share them with friends. With a compilation of over 1,200 international museums, galleries and institutions from 70 countries, this app has brought about a huge change in the way in which individuals interact with artwork.
The app offers features such as virtual reality, guided tours, an art recognizer and the newest feature— “Search with A Selfie.” This app has swept the US and has been featured everywhere from the Today Show to the Wall Street Journal. “Search with A Selfie” works by pinpointing specific features on your face and comparing them to thousands of pieces of artwork in a database to return five pieces of art that resemble you. This application has begun to use the type of technology, known as biometric technology, that will begin to shape every aspect of marketing in the near future.
Everyone has seen this tech in some way, shape or form. The most recently used form of this tech was seen with the launch of the IPhone X. In the case of the IPhone X, this technology permits access to one’s phone via facial recognition. It does not just stop with the IPhone however, retail stores have begun to talk about implementing this type of technology in their brick and mortar locations to allow sales professionals to know exactly when you were last in the store, what you bought and how they can best serve you upon entrance to the store. Airports are using this technology for security purposes, allowing the tech to scan a whole group and bring up profiles on each individual. In the medical field, this technology has been proven to diagnose certain diseases such as Autism with a simple face scan which could have profound implications for the medical technology industry.
This of course begs the question of whether or not this technology borders on creepy and to a further extent, if it borders on privacy infringement. Many individuals have raised concerns regarding their privacy in response to this type of technology. If other individuals can identify you, your preferences and deeply personal information about you with one simple face screening, where does this technology stop? Our technology is evolving so fast that our legal system has not been able to keep up in order to protect consumers from the potential threats presented by these types of powerful technologies. Though the future may seem unknown and at times scary when considering the strength of these technologies, the profoundly beneficial impacts that these new inventions could have on society as a whole leaves us hopeful.