Trend #4: transparent secure world?

Author: Ury Smirnov. Category: Subjective rating of changes. Date:14.01.2012, 20:16.

“Implicit trends” are described in this series of posts “that obviously would change our lifestyle and way of thinking in the future.” The forecasts are based on the results of continuous monitoring of technology news under the project “Subjective rating of technologies-2011”.

At the risk of running into your protests with my prediction as follows: the streets of our cities will be patrolled in the foreseeable future by the flying robots equipped with video cameras (and, I hope, with nothing more). But, firstly, I’m sure, one way or another, this forecast will be realized: alas, only similar system today would help many countries to master street crime and pedophiles yawing around the children’s playground. Secondly, I am also confident that a compromise between intelligence’s appetite that comes with eating and “little man” right to privacy is possible (my version of the “historic compromise” is here). Third, even now many cities around the world are entangled with networks of stationary cameras. Flying robots with video cameras would not create fundamentally new risks for human rights, but they are able to pursue criminals and to make high-quality snapshots from different aspect angles.

So, last summer I noticed a Japanese design engineer Fumiyuki Sato, who designed the flying robot equipped with a video camera the size of a basketball ball, able to hang on as the same height, so accelerate to 60 km / hour. I supposed then that after 10 years such devices will fill the yards and streets of our cities, taking the role of “patrol police”.

In the autumn of this year it was reported that the traffic police of Australia adopts the drones. Flying robots will hunt for traffic infringers and auto-hijackers together with stationary cameras. Further evolution of these projects, I think, is a trick, cause of time and scales.

What the automatic air patrol of cities should look like? The main thing is not to commit under any pretext flying robots equipment with any kind of weapons, including electro-shockers. Only surveillance – otherwise random victims are unavoidable. Moreover, there are already enough stress in the cities. No need that the sky hung over the citizens, as the sword of Damocles.

On my opinion, the flying robot of the not remote future – it’s a balloon filled with helium, like tennis one. It is transparent, for obvious reasons. It is equipped with miniature devices: camera, receiver-transmitter system, air traffic system in a given horizon, collision avoidance and bird scaring systems (as much as possible the details of these devices, if possible, should also be made of transparent materials). As for energy source it can be stand-alone device that extract energy, for example, from the city noise or radio waves. Such ones are already established If in this case, efficiency is insufficient or any other technical obstacles appear – the flying-base “womb” can be used for recharging robots.

Each robot is responsible for their territorial “VMBO,” where one or more backup robots are always in sleep mode. The incoming video data from the duty robot is automatically compared with the base of criminals and a database for pattern recognition, where the situational signs of delinquency are laid. The robot pursues the offender only to the borders of their “cell” sending in advance to robots of neighboring “areas” the coordinates of the pursued. The activity of robots in different parts of the city is watched by people operators.

The network can provide services to individuals, for example, for the targeted video support of the child from home to school. During the city holidays network through a special website can be “opened up” for those who can not leave home or is far away from the city but want to feel the atmosphere of folk festivals. By the way, if you now think about the machinations of the alleged terrorists, to disrupt their plans is very simple task: one has just to get out of sync the live web cast of all cameras at different times from several seconds to several minutes. Then the terrorists will not be able to use the broadcast to coordinate their actions.

Finally I’ll repeat what I have already once said: may be a situation when everyone has the information of all is the perfect compromise between the interests of security and human rights.

To be continued.

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