Dispatch from an Advertising Future #47

How coronavirus turned the “dystopian joke” of FaceID masks into a reality

Two weeks ago, Danielle Baskin had an idea for a tongue-in-cheek art project. Now, she’s suddenly big in China. While talking with friends about the coronavirus outbreak, Baskin, an artist in San Francisco, realized that people using face masks to protect themselves from infection would have trouble unlocking phones that use facial recognition.

Life was more difficult since the outbreak. She’d had to reprogramme the phone security apps and the algorithms were taking some time to recognise her muffled speech. But where she really noticed it was when she was out. She’d got used to being recognised. Knowing her coffee would be ready when she got to the counter… it was only seconds but it was the recognition. And having a shop hail you because it saw from your expression that you needed some retail therapy, well it was nice to be understood. Now though she was faceless. She put on her mask.