While many of us worry about the ways in which Google Glass could be used to infringe on peoples' privacy, scientists at Saarland University in Germany have instead developed a process in which the high-tech eyewear could ensure privacy. More specifically, it would keep shady characters from obtaining your PIN while you used an automated teller.

The process starts with a Glass-wearing user approaching an ATM, and "identifying himself" to it. It's not clear if this is done using a debit card, or some other means.

In any case, using a software system known as Ubic, the ATM then identifies the user's unique digital Google Glass signature, and responds by displaying a customized QR code on its screen. To everyone else (even other Glass-wearers, all with different signatures), that code remains unreadable. The user's glasses are able to read it, however, and they display a one-time-use PIN in place of the code, on the inside of the lens.

The user then keys in that PIN and goes about their ATM business, after which that particular PIN becomes useless – a new one is issued for each of their subsequent transactions.

Needless to say, the same thing could be done simply using a camera-equipped smartphone. The difference with Google Glass, however, is the fact that while other people could sneak a peek at the decoded PIN on a phone's screen, only the one user would be able to see it on the Glass display.

The researchers have suggested that Ubic could perhaps also have other applications. One of these could include single encrypted documents that display different confidential content to different people, depending on each person's Google Glass signature.

Source: Saarland University