Real World AdBlock

Every day your eyeballs are assaulted by advertisements on your box of cereal, billboards, t-shirts, magazines, milk cartons, plastered on the side of buses, buildings, bananas, and written in the sky. [Reed], [Jonathan], [Tom], and [Alex] came up with a solution to this: a Brand Killer that censors all the advertisements and brands you see every minute of every day. It’s a real-world adblock that you can build right now.

The team’s system uses a custom head mounted display made from cardboard, goggles, a webcam, and a seven-inch display. The software for the system uses Python and OpenCV to monitor the images from the webcam, compares them against a list of brands and logos, and filters them out with an unobtrusive blur.

Right now the system just has a few brands and logos that include Dr. Pepper, Hershey’s, McDonalds, Facebook, Starbucks, and clear evidence this was built at UPenn, Wawa and Tastykake. In the video below, the detection and tracking of these various brands is very good. The system is also stereoscopic, meaning this is wearable all day, every day, without a loss of depth perception.

42 thoughts on “Real World AdBlock

    1. I came here just to make sure this was mentioned, and you did not disappoint.

      Now the real question is if they have complete control over time for the virtual “siri” programs, why can’t they just say “If you work against us, we put you in solitary for a month. If you work for us, we’ll let you work one day and the put you on accelerated time for 6 days a week and connect you up to future Netflix or whatever is cool in 2025.”

  1. They should make a Adobe Premier plugin that does this so when you’re recording a movie/clip you don’t show your competitors ads, or someone who doesn’t pay you for the ad space on your channel.

  2. Be nice if it can also be used on unfriendly people. Blue out their middle finger and blur out their face so you can’t read their lip. Maybe while driving on the road, you can get a giant red arrow above the car of hostile driver so you can avoid them.

    It can somehow backfire if there’s malware in your glasses or otherwise hacked into so you don’t see the actual truth but something different. I’m reminded of one episode of Accel World where a boy was tricked into going in girls’ room because of a virus that placed a boys’ room image on girls’ sign.

    1. How about people ratings to add to that? So if someone has a bad rating they just get blurred out completely and you won’t even deal with them. Sort of like Yelp for humans with blocking. :D

    2. All these spontaneous ideas to censor stuff in a negative way makes me feel slightly nauseous about humanity, how they seem to clamour for censorship like some well-trained monkeys.

  3. Wouldn’t it be ironic if, someday, a future version of Google Glass could be hacked to do this. That would be the only application for that shitty device and the complete opposite of everything Google stands for.

    1. Instead such future google glass would use its cam to detect what adds you accidentally look at and then copy those ads to other places you look so you can’t look away I bet. Maybe project them on people’s forehead.
      Or maybe they just detect what product you recently bought then all other users will see the logo of that item augemented VR projected on that person.

      After first informing the NSA that you met them of course. First things first.

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