Don't say we didn't warn you. According to C|Net, the consumer electronics company Deja View will soon begin production on a wearable camcorder design. The system constantly buffers the last 30 seconds of whatever you're looking at, and can save the buffer to permanent storage at the press of a button.
Anyone who dismisses this item because of its obvious limitations (bulky camera and cable, clumsy belt-pack storage, 4 hour battery life, 30 second buffer, no ability to wirelessly send signals, no ability to play back recordings on the spot) hasn't been paying attention, and should be cursed to wander the Earth using circa-1990 cellular phones and video cameras. This version is ugly, ungainly, and far too limited -- but it's a harbinger of things to come. We're close to the era of "Personal Memory Assistants," and should start thinking now about what we do and don't want them to be able to do.
A wireless link to a database, some facial recognition software, a HUD display on one of the eyes, and you may never have to date crazy chicks again!
Seriously, the potential implications of this technology are staggering. Say goodbye to anonymity when someone can instantly learn almost anything publicly available about you just by looking at you.
Well, I'm gonna be $400 poorer any day now.
Fortunately, facial recognition software is (for now) horribly inaccurate and failure-prone, and it doesn't appear to be simply a problem of insufficiently-powerful hardware. The "no visual anonymity" era is still comfortably ahead of us; what's much closer is the "no visual privacy" era, as well as the "never win another argument with your spouse" era of permanent records of who said/did what...
You'd be surprised at some of the FR research I've seen running on, um, "limited" hardware, Jamais.
Also note that just because it doesn't work well doesn't mean it won't be deployed, which is even scarier. False positives? Bah, arrest them all, we'll sort it out at the station.