The Science of Spying – Part 3

More speculative products from The Science of Spying (see report Part 1 and Part 2). Like the precedents, the objects were designed to embody future scenarios of spying but also to stimulate a debate around the theme and contemporary issues of surveillance and control.

Image: The Science of…

One of my favourite idea was from El Ultimo Grito (i’ve got a soft spot for projects that comment on technology whitout using technology.) They designed simple face modification masks and stickers that modify the contours, features and temperature patterns picked up by facial recognition systems. The masks turn a recognisable face into one that CCTV monitors can no longer classify. Could grotesque faces become a fashion statement for people who want to avoid automatic CCTV classifications?

Image The Science of…

Hari & Parker do Junior Big Brother
. Hari and Parker are cute little toys that love to hang around.
0aminiharry.jpgThey watch and listen – and they look great in a child’s bedroom. The cute characters are in fact the speculative instruments of a government campaign to promote and encourage children to commit subtle acts of domestic surveillance.
Hari has a microphone ear and Parker a video-camera nose and fingerprint-scanner paw.

The Hari&Parker brand is instantly recognisable. Their reassuring faces can be found on toys, sweets and freebies.

Design by Onkar Singh Kular, Wilfrid Wood and Anthony Burrill.

Troika‘s projects were inspired by the fact that, from Flickr to the Big Brother program, spying seems to become more and more integrated in our popular culture. Actually, the rise in self-awareness in an increasingly self-centered society motivated the London-based design studio to explore the possibility that the main thing worth spying on in the future, will be yourself.

Spying on yourself already exists in its infancy in the virtual world. The so-called ‘Myware’, a logical evolution of Spyware, programs are installed voluntarily on your computer to get statistics of your on-line behavior. Advanced versions analyse your iTunes library to establish your taste profile and suggest a selection of music you might like.

In a similar way, Troika’s Spy-on-yourself-devices monitor your physical behavior, and the non-verbal or subconscious signs you give away everyday, to offer you in return statistic of what you might like or dislike and suggestions on how to lead or improve your life.

0howdoiii1.jpg0howdoi2.jpgHow Do I Look? in use (image Troika)

How Do I Look? is concealed in a make-up box. It automatically connects you to the closest CCTV camera and enables you to check how you look on their recordings. Could be a must-have for these people who use their cameraphone to check their hair.

0opolo90.jpgThe Lie Trainer can assess if you are pulling a good lie or not.

Concealed in a wrist-watch, the device monitors the user’s pulse-rate, skin conductivity, and in-blood levels of adrenaline. If you lie, the device will let you know by gently piercing you with the needles located on the reverse of the watch. The device will thus gradually teach you to have the confidence and calm to pull great lies anytime (that one made me think of Crispin Joneswatches.)

Factor 40 DNA protection spray stops you shedding your unique DNA by keeping your cells in place while adding a fine dusting of other people’s DNA. If someone snatched your DNA, they wouldn’t find it so easy to identify you, or to pretend to be you.
Design by Troika; idea by Suw Charman.

0aapaparaz.jpg0bbblur.jpgBlur anti-photography spray could keep the faces of celebrities out of the papers. It’s the same principle as that Hewlett-Packard project of an electronic badge that jams electronic cameras, preventing photographers from taking unwanted pictures. Blur’s highly reflective nanoparticles reflect the flashbulbs of peeping and stalking photographers.
They blind camera sensors and whiten part of the image.
Design by Troika; idea by Kok-Chian Leong.

My images from the exhibition and Fiona Romeo‘s.