The Loh Down On Science

How privacy advocates can make a (fashion) statement

Is the next assault on our privacy drone surveillance?

This is Sandra Tsing Loh with the Loh Down on Science. 

Yes, worries artist and physical-computing instructor Adam Harvey.   Physical computing, by the way, explores how humans interact with computers. 

Previously, Harvey developed ways to elude face-detection technology with unusual makeup and hairstyles.  He studied which physical cues detection algorithms use to decide whether something is a face.  He then foiled them, with, for example, spikes of hair over the face.  Sure, the look escapes the attention of computers.  Mothers, not so much!

Now he's created "Stealth Wear," clothing to foil aerial-drone surveillance. Drones use infrared sensors for detection.  See, all objects give off infrared light.  Warmer objects, like people, are brighter in infrared than cooler objects, like buildings.

Harvey's "stealth hoodie" is fabric coated in copper, nickel, and silver.  The metal blocks the wearer's infrared light, or body heat, from being visible to sensors.

As for me, to fool Big Brother I’ll just keep parting my hair to the other side and wearing my tin-foil hat.  Wish me luck.

***** For more 90-SECOND SCIENCE FACTS, click here.*****

The Loh Down on Science is produced by LDOS Media Lab, with 89.3 KPCC. And made possible by the generous support of the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation.

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