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 ")

Zephyr Solar-Electric Stratospheric Drone
'The planes flew continuously, twenty-four hours a day...' - EB White, 1950.

Robot Hummingbird Hovers Biomimetically
'With a buzz... it started out on its journey.' - Raymond Z. Gallun, 1936.

Capitalist Big Brother Co-Opts Regular Big Brother
'It was even conceivable that they watched everybody all the time.' - George Orwell, 1948.

Juggalo Face Paint Disrupts Facial Recognition
'... designed to foil facial recognition systems.' - Neal Stephenson, 2019

 

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

Orbital Display's Low Earth Orbit Advertisements
'A vast circle of scarlet stars came up into the greenish desert dusk.'

Neuromorphic Computing Hardare
'He had constructed an organ, a brain, of metal, entirely inorganic and lifeless...'

Vascularized Human Skin 3D Printed
Hey Fishboy!

Trillionaires Still Earth-Bound
'I shall never forget the sight... when the yellow gleam of the precious metal appeared under the star dust.'

Digit V2 Bipedal Robot From Agility Robotics
Oh, and now I suppose someone will develop the robotic porch pirate.

3D Printed Dubai Building Is World's Largest
'This thing will start at one end of ...a house and build it complete to the other end, following drawings only.'

Grow Plants On Moon Or Mars!
'In contrast to the airless desolation outside, the interior of this five-acre greenhouse was the one most desirable place to be.'

California Gets Shockwave Rider-Style Avoidance Zones
'It was cheaper to pay the refugees to go without up-to-the-minute equipment.'

Microbot Interstellar von Neumann Explorers
'Evidently they have never had a planet of their own...'

Hail SmartCan! Your Trash Bin Takes Itself Out
'...a waste can twenty feet away stirred into life.'

Finally! Microsoft Surface Neo And Surface Duo Implement Excellent Courier Idea
'Runcible, whose pages were thicker and more densely packed with computational machinery...'

Tap Strap 2 Now With Air Mouse
'He waved his hand and the circuit switched abruptly.'

Legal Profession Now Fairly Bristling With AI
'The virtual counsel appeared to be about forty-five years old and prosperous.'

Entire Planet Modeled In New MS Flight Sim
'CIC uses [it] to keep track of every bit of spatial information that it owns...'

FlyZoo Robot Hotel By Alibaba
'... hotels that specialized in non-human service.'

Implanted Memories Provide Songs To Birds
Finches can't tell the difference.

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.