The last post about Anti-Paparazzi clothing sent me down a rabbit hole finding out about other recent inventions designed to stop cameras. Here’s a brief summary of what other options exist if you cant get hold of a nifty reflective scarf:
Flash back handbag
A student named Adam Harvey invented a handbag add-on which detects a camera flash and in return flashes right back at it before the photo is taken. The result is a ruined photograph. I believe the downside is that this device is only quick enough to thwart slower shutter speeds which is good enough in you are in a dark area or out at night but won’t have much of an effect at sporting events where photographers will typically be using quicker shutter speed settings. The device is also not in commercial production but the inventor still deserves some respect for trying to beat a flash at it’s own game.
Anti photography paint
An article in the express claims that any photographs taken of Angelina Jolie giving birth are fakes because the hospital she was at coated the windows with anti-photography paint. I’m a bit dubious about this claim as the article gives no further details about how it works and google comes up short when trying to find other examples of this technology being used elsewhere.
I think this might be a bit case of the journalist taking some creative liberties and the windows of the hospital room were either coated with the same stuff as one way mirrors (suggesting the inside was kept darker than normal) or the windows simply had the same privacy filters applied that you can get for your office computer to prevent shoulder surfing:
A decade ago there were reports of technology on Roman Abramovich’s new super boat which utilised lasers to scan in all directions and detect the CCD (Charged couple device) of a digital camera and blind it. The CCD is the part of the camera which detects light before coding the information into pixels. The lasers are able to detect these and send an extra bright beam directly at the CCD, blinding it without affecting anything else.
this technology was first developed as a way to try to stop pirates recording movies in the cinema. There is a lot of speculation (including from the devices inventor) as to how effective it is when taken outside of a small dark cinema room and stuck to the side of a giant yacht in the ocean in broad daylight.
Anti face recognition
There is some interesting work going into stopping facial recognition technology doing its thing. This won’t stop a paparazzi taking a direct photo of you but it might hinder any automated CCTV or video recording software which activates and focuses based on what it detects as a human face.
at CV Dazzle there is a group of make up artists designing styles which stop common facial recognition technology from being able to detect a face. It works by disguising common features which some face recognition technology relies on such as the colouring of eyes, the nose bridge or the edges of the mouth.
The same guy mentioned previously (Adam Harvey) who works on CV Dazzle and the flash-back camera also has a project called “Hyperface” which designs patterns which instead of being detected as a non-face gets detected as hundreds of individual faces, hopefully confusing the facial recognition software and hiding your real face.
Looking at the sample designs it seems strange at how little is needed for software to detect a “face”. a very simple design of pixels which can just about pass as eyes, nose and a mouth seems to be all it takes: