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 ")

Dubai Considers Robocop
'This was a nice-looking hunk of machinery. - Harry Harrison, 1958.

Airnest Drone Flight Logging Tool
'He reached to unsnap the cartograph from his belt.'- Jack Williamson, 1931.

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.

 

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

ibotn Toddler-Care Mini-Robot
'She's not like a machine. She's like a person. A living person.'

Nuclear Batteries Based On Diamonds Last Millennia
'they just package it and ship it around to wherever people want it...'

Eighth Sense Emotion-Responsive Cloak
'This sensitivity to mood explains the real popularity of bio-fabrics...'

British Airways To Offer An Ingestible Sensor To Passengers
The modern way to get feedback from passengers.

Unique DNA To Foil Parts Counterfeiters
'... the only molecule, a unique protein amino acid, which could not be duplicated.'

MIT Researchers Predict The Future From Still Photos
'What I have in this camera is not a record of what you did just now but what will go on here in the next half hour...'

Mini Robot Uses 2 mm Surgical Tools
'... surgical tool - blades, tweezers, probes - so fine you could just see them with the naked eye.'

Childhood Dreams Of Space Realized! Space Junk Problem Solved!
'Give the noble daydreams a rest, you preachy rookie. Astronauts are wage slaves like everyone else!'

Writhing Robotic Tentacle Uses Laser To Chop Nuke Hardware
'... long, flexible, glittering tentacles... swinging and rattling about its strange body.'

LBNP Device Not Quite 'Artificial Gravity'
'Joe got out the gravity-simulator harnesses..'

China's XPNAV 1 To Use X-Ray Pulsars For Navigation
'For a hyperspace jump, you need at least four beacons for an accurate fix.'

Artificial Muscle Material Is Self-Healing, Super Stretchy
Battletech!

Google Zero-Shot Translation Gives Star Trek Fans Hope
"This is your opponent!"

Moley Kitchen Robot Ready By 2018
'...the electric cook was stirring empty nothing in a pan, with a zeal worthy a dozen eggs.'

Tricking Cells Into Making Silicon Chips
'Fabricated by genetically engineered metal affinity bacteria...'

AI Lip Reading Better Than Human, Like HAL 9000
Nothing to worry about, until computers control most vital systems.

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.