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The Healthcare Panopticon
Regine Debatty, 24 Jul 08

A quick project seen last month at the RCA Summer show. This one is by Design Products (platform 11) graduate and engineer Benjamin Males:

The Static Obesity Logging device, part of Target set of projects, can be installed almost anywhere. The casing of the innocent-looking device conceals a computer, digital and analogue inputs and outputs and a camera. The system is able to remotely calculate Body Mass Index and communicate the data via wired and wireless networks.

0aaprotesobese.jpg

The purpose of the device is to raise a series of slightly disturbing questions. Surveillance technologies are becoming increasingly important and invasive in our daily life (especially in the UK). How far can it go? Could we envision that one day surveillance technology will have a role in healthcare? Could it provide some help in the fight against obesity? What would then be the potential uses (misuses?) of this data by others? How much would this affect our civil liberties? Do we really have a voice to protest the Big Brother society?

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