Ever get the feeling somebody is looking over your shoulder at your phone? Well, you may not have to worry that in the future: Google’s researchers have developed an AI tool which will spot once somebody is sneaking a peek at your screen.
The software — that was 1st noticed by Quartz — is named an “e-screen protector,” and is presently just in the analysis stage. We do not know if Google has the plan to add it to future versions of Android. It’s quite simple: it uses your front-facing camera in combination with some face- and gaze-detection algorithms to identify anyone viewing your display.
You can see the demo video, it will react almost immediately to suspicious looky-loos, changing the user’s screen to find the culprit red-faced, and tagging them with some Snapchat-style rainbow vomit for great effect. according to Quartz, the creators of the e-screen protector, Google researchers Hee Jung Ryu and Florian Schroff, say the system works in all sorts of different lighting conditions and has a response time of just 2 milliseconds. with that speed, you can even a passing glance is likely to be spotted!
Although we can’t say whether or not Google can ever bring this feature to Android, it’s a perfect example of the sort of little software tweaks AI can offer mobile devices. Google is doing more and more on-device machine learning with the help of its TensorFlow lite software and has added simple tools that automatically detect numbers and addresses when you are copy and pasting text, and suggest quick replies to your emails, for example.
Features like this may look trivial in isolation, but collectively they’re going to add up to an entire lot more. Machine learning and AI are already becoming the big differentiators between smartphones — so expect to see more like this in the near future.