The P2P surveillance society approaches...

Jim Whitehead
Fri, 30 Nov 2001 10:43:32 -0800
"The Page of Omnidirectional Vision"

Bunch o'links to commercial and research work on omnidirectional vision
systems, including novel cameras and software to stitch the images together.

The FlyCam work at FujiXerox Palo Alto Labs (FXPal) is particularly
interesting, since it is comparatively low cost, done mostly with
off-the-shelf hardware.

Those of you who know about the Aspen Movie Map, a virtual reality tour of
Aspen, Colorado performed in 1979
<>   will find the
FlyAbout work to be familiar:

The big difference is that now this capability is possible using standard,
stock equipment. Oh, and having GPS around is a big help too.

How do we make the surveillance society
<> from these pieces? Miniaturize the
cameras and associated electronics, and have a large number of people wear
one. So far, just like in David Brin's novel "Earth"

Everyone records omnidirectional images of their surroundings, and records
the positions they were in.

Now, combine this with Peer-to-Peer technology. Allow everyone to search
everyone else's image banks, based on geographic information. This require
shifting existing P2P technology from a music-based metadata schema to one
that is geospatially based. The schemas already exist:

Key factors keeping us from the surveillance society:
* the cameras are too heavy, and too expensive
* disk space is still too expensive (for compact, portable memory)
* wireless transmission rates are still too slow
* wireless access is not yet ubiquitous

But, I think you'll agree that none of these are fundamental limitations
(i.e., fixing these does not require breaking physical laws).

When will we start seeing the start of the peer-to-peer surveillance
society? I give it 10 years, maybe less.

- Jim