A pair of hi-tech, smart glasses has been designed to scan crowds of people and spot missing children “within seconds”.
Entrepreneur* Jerry Farsoun has assured that the “world-first” glasses, would not record video or collect private data.
One pair of glasses sells for $2200 until February and then the price will be $3000.
Mr Farsoun, from Greensborough, Victoria, said a feeling of helplessness he experienced after his two-year-old son vanished among crowds at Federation Square in Melbourne two years ago sparked the idea, which has been developed by a company founded by Mr Farsoun called Leelou.
A person’s profile is created through the free app, Leelou, and at the press of an SOS button, audio and GPS coordinates are instantly streamed to a user’s nominated guardians and displayed on a dashboard.
Guardians wearing the glasses can then scan the crowd until the technology matches the missing profile to the correct person.
Whoever finds the missing person is then rewarded between 70 to 80 per cent of the $165 fee to create the profile on Leelou.
“The glasses act like a human eye — they scan crowds, screening for the missing person and providing personal safety during big, public gatherings,” Mr Farsoun said.
“We then reward users, a bit like Uber, to help locate missing children.”
Mr Farsoun said the glasses could also act like a phone, so that wearers could watch Netflix, access Alexa and social media sites – and more than 150 other apps.
He said the invention could help people feel more positive about the usefulness of technology, rather than focus on negatives, such as the potential* for invasion of privacy.
“This will go a long way to help to enhance* Big Brother’s* reputation when missing children are found, especially in public places,” he said.
“Instead of the whole process where someone describes the missing person’s features and what they’re wearing, all of that — this technology already has that information in its system and cuts straight to looking for the person.”
Leelou is available on Apple and Google app stores, while glasses can be pre-ordered from Leelou’s website.
Mr Farsoun said his team was ready to start delivering the glasses to customers.
“Like any new technology we’re going through that education process — but this is a world-first CCTV* public platform and has the potential to cut the number of children reported missing each year in Australia.”
- entrepreneur: person who sets up new businesses
- potential: possibility
- enhance: make better
- Big Brother: a way of saying that a person or an organisation is watching and has control over everything we do. Comes from a novel called 1984 by George Orwell
- CCTV: stands for closed-circuit TV, meaning a security system of cameras and screens
- How much will the glasses cost to buy?
- What event led Mr Farsoun to getting involved in this technology?
- Who receives a reward when the missing child is found?
- What is one possible concern people could have about this technology?
- When is the company ready to start delivery?
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1. Weigh up the pros and cons
Pair up with a classmate for this activity. One of you is in charge of writing a list of the pros (advantages) of the technology and the other is in charge of writing a list of the cons (disadvantages). Write down everything you can think of, no matter how small. Then, discuss each of the points on your lists. Reach a decision together on whether you think the technology is a good or bad thing overall, and write a paragraph explaining the decision you reached together.
Time: allow 25 minutes to complete this activity
Curriculum Links: English; Health and Physical Education; Personal and Social Capability; Critical and Creative Thinking
Given its cost, this technology may not be accessible to everyone. Make a list of other steps families could take when out in crowded places to minimise the risk of children becoming separated from parents and to reunite them quickly if they do become separated.
Time: allow 15 minutes to complete this activity
Curriculum Links: English; Health and Physical Education
Mr Farsoun’s glasses are a great idea, but pretty expensive. See if you can come up with at least one other idea for their use, or for other people who might want them so he can broaden his market and put together a proposal for some bigger companies.
Should the local police or government employees have them?
What about teachers on excursion? Or should you be able to hire them at main events?
Could kids use them for anything?
Could a VR experience be an option?
HAVE YOUR SAY: Would you like to be able to be found using these glasses if you’re lost?
No one-word answers. Use full sentences to explain your thinking. No comments will be published until approved by editors.