Let's Hear It For The Vague Blur!

Widespread video surveillance has been a great boon - well, to someone, since studies in Great Britain show that there is virtually no significant reduction in crime in heavily surveilled neighborhoods.

The real problem is finding people (enough of them!) and paying them to watch all these cameras to search for wrong-doing.

The video-analysis company 3VR has built up a database of every last license plate, vehicle and face that is encountered by video cameras in its network and sounds the alarm if it sees a suspect anywhere.

As it turns out, there seem to be people who don't like being constantly photographed every minute of their lives, and 3VR's engineers have come up with an interesting gimmick to help maintain the privacy of people who are being constantly photographed without their knowledge or consent.

This system uses the same algorithms that pick out faces and license plates; it then blurs the faces and vehicles that are not in their database of suspicious persons.


(3VR Security blur the innocent software)

Of course, if you later become a suspicious "person of interest," security guards can "unlock" your image to reveal your real, sharp-featured self under the blur.


(Scramble suit video from A Scanner Darkly)

This is a marvelously inverted perversion of Philip K. Dick's scramble suit from his 1977 novel A Scanner Darkly. In the story, a police informant could become anonymous by wearing "a superthin shroudlike membrane..." - a scramble suit.

In any case, the wearer of a scramble suit was Everyman and in every combination (up to combinations of a million and a half sub-bits) during the course of each hour. Hence, any description of him - or her - was meaningless.
(Read more about PKD's scramble suit)

In the 3VR privacy surveillance picture, everyone who is innocent becomes anonymized; only the presumed guilty have their own real identity and face.

As PKD would say, "Let's hear it for the vague blur!"

Via Wired.

Scroll down for more stories in the same category. (Story submitted 6/16/2008)

Follow this kind of news @Technovelgy.

| Email | RSS | Blog It | Stumble | del.icio.us | Digg | Reddit |

Would you like to contribute a story tip? It's easy:
Get the URL of the story, and the related sf author, and add it here.

Comment/Join discussion ( 3 )

Related News Stories - (" Surveillance ")

Snap Specs - Snapchat Spectacles - Are Video Glasses
'The old woman laid her wire-knitting aside and fixed them with the bug-eyed, opaque gape...' David Brin, 1990.

Bradbury's Method Used In Search For Bombing Suspect
'He imagined thousands on thousands of faces peering into yards, into alleys...' - Ray Bradbury, 1953.

Drone 100, Coordinated Drone Performance Team
'The real border was... a swarm of quasi-independent aerostats.' - Neal Stephenson, 1995.

Satellite Surveillance Reveals Guerrilla Drug Trade
'A photograph, taken from space, of part of the state of Chihuahua, Mexico. And see!' - Jack Williamson, 1931.

 

Google
  Web TechNovelgy.com   

Technovelgy (that's tech-novel-gee!) is devoted to the creative science inventions and ideas of sf authors. Look for the Invention Category that interests you, the Glossary, the Invention Timeline, or see what's New.

 

 

 

 

 

Current News

Snap Specs - Snapchat Spectacles - Are Video Glasses
'The old woman laid her wire-knitting aside and fixed them with the bug-eyed, opaque gape...'

Reading A Scroll Burned To Charcoal
'The scope was adjusted to generate... an image of the lower section of the book.'

Robot Arrested In Moscow
They should have thrown a net over him.

Oh Great, Fence-Climbing Robots
How long till they add the acid-tipped stingers?

Software Agents Fight Unseen On The Web
'...Worms and counter-worms loose on the data-net.'

Sandisk 1 Terabyte SD Memory Card Surfaces
'They should be Welton Fine-Grains, or they would be too bulky to ship...'

Carbyne, The Ultimate Form Of Carbon
'A continuous pseudo-one dimensional diamond crystal...'

Bradbury's Method Used In Search For Bombing Suspect
'He imagined thousands on thousands of faces peering into yards, into alleys...'

New Laser Space Debris Clearing More Subtle Than Clarke's
Rather than nudge them up, nudge them down.

Robots Learn To Swarm Safely
'They were bronzy gleams of smooth motion...'

Samsung's Smart Ring
'Crayn glanced at his finger watch...'

Proposal To Use Lasers To Analyze Asteroids
'Wendis stared thoughtfully at the brilliant lines on the spectroscope screen.'

Autonomous Sumo Robot Wrestling Video
'The expressionless face before me was therefore that of the golem-wrestler...'

Fashion Needs To Step Up Technology Education
'Keeping up with advances in fashion is almost as easy as reading - if you're reading science fiction.'

Youbionic 3D Printed Hand A Dark Knight Masterpiece
'A self-contained robot of precision quality usually joined to his right wrist'

Robots Now Know How To Cause Pain
'THE HATE I FEEL FOR HUMANS AT THIS MICRO-INSTANT...'

More SF in the News Stories

More Beyond Technovelgy science news stories

Home | Glossary | Invention Timeline | Category | New | Contact Us | FAQ | Advertise |
Technovelgy.com - where science meets fiction™

Copyright© Technovelgy LLC; all rights reserved.