Commentary

Digital Eyes 'See' What People Are Up To

Among other transformation, the Internet of Things will, in effect, create a lot more of what I view as digital eyes.

Various types of sensors and tracking devices already are being deployed so that distant viewing of people or their activities can be remotely captured.

Numerous examples of this have made some headlines recently.

For example, a drone went missing in Orem, Utah, this week. The drone earlier had been spotted by a resident just outside his bathroom window. The man saw the drone land and picked it up later and brought it to the police, according to a story in a local news service, the Gephardt Daily, which passed on the police department alert, which read:

  • Are you missing a quadcopter?
  • Did you lose it this morning, in Orem?
  • Are you looking over your shoulder to see if police are following you?
  • Have you been convicted of voyeurism in the past?
  • Does the SD card in your quadcopter camera have videos of people in their private bathrooms?
  • On the same SD card, is there a picture of you flying your quadcopter?
  • Would you like to turn yourself in before we have to come knocking on your door, maybe on Christmas morning, with a warrant?

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The post ends with the note: “we know who you are, but let’s make this easier on everyone.”

However, not everyone is so helpful in self-capturing themselves and that’s where more connected technology comes in. Some examples:

  • A resident in Apple Valley, Minnesota, had heard of packages being snatched off doorsteps in her neighborhood. She installed some Internet-connected security cameras outside her house pointing at the front steps and the garage.
  • A startup has created IoT-enabled smart electronic tags that can be attached to clothing and other goods so that products moving on the shop floor can be tracked. When someone tries to take a product into a restricted area, an alert is sent from the tag to a sensor on the ceiling of the shop and then to a smartphone app on the security guard’s phone, according to a report in IBTimes.
  • In Tustin, California, a few days ago, a GPS device concealed inside a bottle of cough syrup helped police capture two suspects of committing a burglary. More than 100 suspected thieves have been caught with the police department’s use of GPS tracking devices, based on a report in the Los Angeles Times.

And then there are cases of serendipity combining with connected technology.

When a resident was flying his drone in Tulsa, Oklahoma, last week, he saw someone come out of a broken window with two bottles of scotch. The drone operator had his camera-equipped drone follow the men and hover overhead until the police arrived, according to NewsOn6 in Tulsa.

It’s not that digital eyes can technically always see something, but they pretty much can tell where things are and where they’re heading.

4 comments about "Digital Eyes 'See' What People Are Up To".
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  1. Jonathan Hutter from Northern Light Health, December 7, 2016 at 10:10 a.m.

    I'd be interested in hearing about how people react to this type of "monitoring" or "surveillance" or "relationship." It all depends on how you dress it. Would certain people think this is ok as long as it provides them some type of benefit? Such as if the digital eye would lock your house if you forgot (but could also tell someone when you left the house). 

    Personally it creeps me out, but I could see convincing people of the benefits of this kind of observant technology, and some people welcoming it into their lives. (If any of you starts calling this "observant technology," I want full credit). 

  2. Chuck Martin from Chuck Martin, December 7, 2016 at 10:28 a.m.

    Good points, Jonathan. The tracking or 'seeing' is going to take many shapes. On the other side, the control of 'being seen' should reside with the consumer.

  3. R MARK REASBECK from www.USAonly.US , December 7, 2016 at 9:14 p.m.

    so like in everything else, when there is a micro-percentage of people without morals, integrity, and self control, the answer is to put a sensor on everything to watch EVERYONE?  

    keep your sensors out of my clothes, my car, my wallet, my grocery cart, and  don't retinae-ize me.  Do you people not see that you are giving away your freedom and identity ????

  4. Chuck Martin from Chuck Martin replied, December 7, 2016 at 9:18 p.m.

    Sensors are being embedded in countless devices, Mark, but not always for reasons they end up being used for.

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