If you’re in the market for something to obfuscate your nefarious nocturnal activities, rejoice — this adversarial infrared hoodie may be just what you’re looking for.
Not that we condone illegal activities, of course, and neither does artist [Mac Pierce], who created “The Camera-Shy Hoodie.” His purpose seems to be exploring the nature of the surveillance state, or rather to perplex it in the name of anonymity. The idea is simple — equip a standard hoodie with a ring of super-bright IR LEDs, and control them with an RP2040.
We’ve seen blinding hoodies before, but here the LEDs strobe on and off in one of three different patterns, all of which are timed to confound the autoexposure mechanism in just about any surveillance camera by not giving it time to adjust to the rapidly and drastically changing light level. The result is near-total obfuscation of the wearer’s facial features, at least when the camera is in night-vision mode. Check out the results in the video below.
There are some nice touches to [Mac]’s approach, like aluminum PCBs for the LEDs and the use of soldered-on fabric snaps to attach them to the inside of the hoodie, making them easy to remove for laundering. With the LEDs peeking through holes in the fabric, the hoodie looks pretty run-of-the-mill — until, of course, night falls and the USB battery bank in the hoodie’s pocket powers up the light show.
Granted, this won’t exactly help you avoid detection — the big ball of light around your head will be instantly seen by even the most casual observer. But at least it makes it easier to keep your face to yourself. And it won’t help much in daylight — for that, you might want something a little more like this passive adversarial ugly sweater.
We’ve all seen those ‘nothing’ keyboards, where the keys themselves are not much more than projected lasers, and users are asked to ritually beat their poor fingertips into the table — which has little give and even less clack. Well, a team at the Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology have come up with a way to eschew the keyboard altogether.
Essentially, the user wears a thin, breathable mesh of silver nanowires coated in gold, which is then embedded in a polyurethane coating. The mesh is sprayed onto their forearms and hands on the spot, and the mesh terminates in a small enclosure that is also worn on the skin. This contains a small Bluetooth unit that beams data back to a computer, a machine, or potentially another user wearing the same type of unit.
As the skin stretches and contorts, the mesh senses small electrical changes within. These changes become meaningful with applied AI, which maps the changes to specific gestures and manual tasks. To do this, the team started with teaching it to distinguish between patterns from tasks like typing on a phone, typing on a regular keyboard, and then holding and interacting with six differently-shaped simple objects.
The team isn’t stopping there — they plan to try capturing a larger range of motion by using the nanomesh on multiple fingers. In addition to facilitating communication between humans and machines, this could leave a huge fingerprint on gaming and VR.
The pendant has simple enough hardware — six LEDs arranged around the points of the star, all being driven by a small ATtiny3227 operating from a coin cell battery. This isn’t especially spectacular on it’s own, but this particular microcontroller is running an integer version of a custom-built Lisp interpreter called uLisp. The project’s creator did this simply because of the whimsy involved in running a high-level programming language on one of the smallest microcontrollers around that would actually support the limited functionality of this version of Lisp. This implementation does stretch the memory and processing capabilities of the microcontroller quite a bit, but with some concessions, it’s able to run everything without issue.
With all the attention given to heart rate monitoring and step counting, respiratory rate monitoring is often overlooked. Smartwatches are starting to incorporate respiratory rate monitoring more and more these days. However, current devices often simply look at breaths per minute without extracting more interesting features of the respiratory waveform which could give us more insight into our bodies than breaths per minute could alone. [Davies] and his team decided they wanted to change that by making an earbud that can measure respiratory rate. Continue reading “Breathe Through Your Ears?”→
Cyberpunk is full of characters with cool body mods, and [bsmachinist] has made a prosthetic eye flashlight (TikTok) that is both useful and looks futuristic. [via Reddit]
[bsmachinist] has been machining titanium prosthetic eyes for over five years now, and this latest iteration, the Skull Lamp, has a high brightness LED that he says is great for reading books at night as well as any other task you might have for a headlamp. Battery life is reported as being 20 hours, and the device is switched by passing a magnet (Instagram) near the prosthetic.
You’d think that now that the 2022 Cyberdeck Contest is wrapped up, we’d stop writing about it. Sorry, but no — there were so many great entries that we just can’t help but keep focusing on them. And this wearable hybrid interface cyberdeck has a look we love so much that we can’t resist spotlighting it.
We wouldn’t go so far as to call the “hgDeck” a PipBoy, but [Igor Brkić]’s wrist-worn deck certainly bears some similarity with to the Fallout-famous terminal. In fact, the design for this one is based on his earlier hgTerm Raspberry Pi mini-laptop, which honestly would have made a great entry all by itself. But while the two version shares some similarities, the hgDeck puts a serious twist on the form factor. In the stowed configuration, the Pi Zero W puts the main display, a 3.5″ Waveshare TFT, to work using the resistive touchscreen interface. But with the flick of a finger, a motor flips the monitor up on a set of pantograph linkages, which exposes a compact Bluetooth keyboard. Another touch stows the screen and returns you to touchscreen-only operation.
There were a fair number of wrist-worn decks in the contest’s final results, and while this one didn’t win, [Igor]’s build has got to be one of the cooler designs we’ve seen, one that almost seems practical in the real world.
Humans aren’t always great at respecting each other’s privacy. However, common sense says there’s a clear boundary when it comes to the thoughts in one’s own head and the feelings in one’s heart.
For bus drivers in Beijing though, it seems that’s no longer the case. These professional drivers are now being asked to wear emotional monitors while on the job, raising concerns from both legal and privacy advocates. But the devices aren’t really anything more than workout monitors, and whether they can actually make good on their Orwellian promise remains to be seen.
In Your Head, In Your Head!
When George Orwell wrote 1984, it was only 1949. However, he was able to foresee a world in which surveillance was omnipresent and inescapable. He also envsioned the concept of thoughtcrime, where simply contemplating the wrong things could get you in serious trouble with the authorities.
As we all know, Orwell was way off – these predictions didn’t become reality until well into the 2000s. In the latest horrifying development, technologies now exist that claim to be able to monitor one’s emotional state. Now, China’s transportation sector is rushing to push them on their workforces.