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Seeing Double
Jamais Cascio, 31 May 05

doublevision.jpgLast June, I posted about the Deja View device -- a wearable camera and hard drive recorder, allowing users to save digital copies of whatever they see, and an early indicator that the participatory panopticon would soon be here. I said at the time that it may be ugly, ungainly and too limited, but it was a sign of more advanced technologies to come. And I was right.

I was alerted today to the DoubleVision system, a head-mounted surveillance camera hooked to a portable hard disk system. LCD display for on-the-spot reviewing is optional. Looking a bit like a small gun stuck to the side of the head, the DoubleVision improves on the portability and storage of the Deja View, while keeping the same general model. Most interesting about the system, however, is the marketing: the makers, Second Sight Surveillance, is explicitly aiming the DoubleVision at military, police and security users. No mention is made of sousveillance, media or citizen use (a "Lite" version of the system aimed at consumers uses video tape, not a hard drive -- still useful, sure, but definitely a near-dead medium).

The website doesn't mention price, and doesn't appear to do actual distribution of the equipment. Pity; this is just the sort of gear every protest organizer and citizen watch group will want well before the next round of elections...

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Comments

This device could provide on-demand instant-replay.

But I'm not willing to say that "what we experience" is recorded. Cameras can however record things we don't see, because we "screen-out" alot of our sense data to focus on various combinations of input. On the other hand, humans do see things a camera could never see, because we are also aware of context, at least in terms of things that happen off-camera.


Posted by: Ross on 31 May 05

How much do you want to bet that these things will be de facto banned. That is, there won't be a law that says you can't use one, but if you do use one you will be barred from entering movie theaters, high-end stores, airports, airplanes, sports stadiums, police stations, government offices, private offices, hospitals, schools, prisons, and other 'sensitive areas'.


Posted by: Patrick Di Justo on 1 Jun 05

Perhaps if we made them more inconspicious? Right now it looks like these things are still pretty obvious and bulky even for the police and military.

Obviously there are going to be serious legal battles for personal use of this stuff.

For example, I have a thumbdrive wristwatch that can act as a digital audio recorder and can store several hours of low quality audio. I could serreptiously start recording conversations. A little indicator light goes on but that's easily covered by thin fabric.

I was able to take this into courtrooms and government buildings. I didn't do any recording there but, I think it's only a matter of time before there is a stink over something like this.


Posted by: Mr. Farlops on 1 Jun 05

Perhaps if we made them more inconspicious? Right now it looks like these things are still pretty obvious and bulky even for the police and military.

Obviously there are going to be serious legal battles for personal use of this stuff.

For example, I have a thumbdrive wristwatch that can act as a digital audio recorder and can store several hours of low quality audio. I could serreptiously start recording conversations. A little indicator light goes on but that's easily covered by thin fabric.

I was able to take this into courtrooms and government buildings. I didn't do any recording there but, I think it's only a matter of time before there is a stink over something like this.


Posted by: Mr. Farlops on 1 Jun 05

James is dead on in his analyis of where this leads.
The key here is that the drive indiscriminately records EVERYTHING as it takes place. The user decides what to keep AFTER something interesting or important transpires.

This is pretty different from anticipating something and whipping out ye olde camcorder. The only real hangup here appears to be battery life. As it stands with camcorders, that is a pretty significant limiting factor.


Posted by: Eric Eckl on 1 Jun 05

my medicare audit sucks: every patient interaction needs to be copied, and then taken back to the main office.

I have subscribed to the medicare news letter and it seems I am doing things that I can bill for, but need proper documentation: ie smoking cessation in the setting of amputation. It takes time to get them old fools to stop smoking!

If i could only use this system to say to medicare: look at the crap I deal with, now tell
me, what is this worth in terms of reimbusment: unfortuantely, even if I configured my dictation service to send the text of my history and physicals to my gmail site, the information from medicare on billing information has to go through a couple of viral loops of on line aggreements, so the text is not freely available to google search the relevant codes to get payed for what I am doing.

So even if I configured one of the above recorders to the linux nokia 770: learned python and linux, came up with a program that makes the medicare audit process transparent (and more accessible to others including the patient), and easier for me, and let the patient watch me with big brother, I say to my self, the hell with open source, I going to a patent lawyer and I am getting out of this mess.

So as the online debate rages about if we can copy starwars or not, the reality of government auditing more and more persons is requiring making the coping process easier: so hence guess what!

The law will make it easier to copy and to copy more stuff cause it is embedded in the technology and is the trend in centralization to take advantage of the trend to subvert the peer to peer decentralized process.

So persons who use this technology will have no choice to use this system as the world becomes so wired, and government encourages the participatory panoptican.

The government has always audited and self audited itself: so as battlefields become audited via wearable computer such as the one this article suggests, so will other industries become audited that are run by the government: with healthcare being 11-25 of the gnp, just think of how much more social surveillance will evolve from this end.


Posted by: cyborgopoulos on 8 Jun 05



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