Surveillance technology is experiencing somewhat of a bonanza these days. There’s facial recognition, gait and voice recognition, not to mention all the mind-reading EEG neuro sensors that are popping up at trade shows. All great if you’re Johnny Law or some intrusive advertising schmuck trying to stay one step ahead of the curve, but for Joe Schmo who wants to keep some modicum of privacy, what to do?
Well, if anti-drone hoodies are too hoi polloi for your tastes and you demand a bit more haute couture out of your anti-surveillance wardrobe, then designers Lisa Kori Chung and Caitlin Morris have the threads you’re looking for. Both researchers at Fabrica, an Italian communications institute, the duo have designed Anti-NIS accessories that detect meddlesome networks and remind wearers they’re being watched.
“When a scan is detected, the accessories provoke a reaction that will demand the wearer’s attention, changing their current brain activity patterns and affording a moment of privacy through camouflage,” explains the project’s website.
The line is composed of three articles: “a collar which nudges the wearer with a gentle electric shock, a hat transmits sound via bone conduction, and a mask that distracts the wearer with flashing lights.”
Essentially, the accessories work like this: Let’s say you’re walking down the street with your trendy comrade, plotting a massive grass-roots crusade to overthrow a totalitarian government. Your Anti-NIS collar detects a microphone embedded in a light pole, then gives a gentle zap to suggest you have a more innocuous conversation.
While the accessories are more of an artistic, high-brow concept, they’re rooted in a contemporary relevance that confronts intellectual infringement in surveillance states, so thumb’s up on that. Still, they look like something Lady Gaga would don at her next publicity stunt, so wearing an Anti-NIS collar will keep you anything but inconspicuous. And good luck walking into your favorite neighborhood pub looking like that dude in the above photo.
Credit: Marco Zanin