Bonjour les enfants, here’s another project seen at the RCA’s Great Exhibition in London.
With IDPS (IDentity Protection System), interaction designer Miquel Mora is proposing a new way to protect our visual identity from the invasion of ubiquitous surveillance cameras. He had a heap of green stickers that could stick to your jacket. Or anywhere else. The sticker blurred your image on the video screen.
“With the IDPS project I wanted to sparkle debate about all the issues related to identity privacy,” explains Miquel. “Make people think about how our society has become a complete surveillance machine. Our identities have already been stored as data in many servers ready to be tracked. And our self image is our last resort. So we really need tools to protect our privacy. We need tools that can allow us to hide or reveal our visual image. We must have the control over it.”
“For example in one scenario a girl is wearing a tooth jewellery with IDPS technology embedded. So when she smiles she reveals it and it triggers the camera to protect her. With IDPS users can always feel comfortable, knowing that with a simple gesture like smiling, they are in control. The IDPS technology could be embedded in all kind of items, from simple badges to clothes or jewellery. For the working prototype I’m using Processing to track the stickers and pixelate the image around when it founds one.”
Couldn’t help but ask Miquel how visitors of the exhibition reacted to his project, are they still bothered by surveillance cameras these days?
“I think people like it first because it’s fun to play with but then everyone says that yes, we should have tools like that to protect our privacy. And although everyone is used to surveillance cameras all wish they could have something like this.
I need to say that there have been few people that the first thing they said is that technology would be perfect for terrorists! But I guess this is like any other technology, what is bad is the way we use it.”