Ant-facial recognition tech at the Hong Kong protests was an art project

There have been some tweets going around about a "wearable face projector" being employed at the ongoing protests in Hong Kong.

It's essentially the same as the scramble suits from Philip K. Dick's A Scanner Darkly—instead of disguising yourself as someone else, it disguises you as everyone else, projecting a constantly shifting visage that drives the facial recognition AI crazy. It certainly makes sense that someone would try to use something like this in Hong Kong, where the mere act of protecting one's identity in public is now punishable by a USD3,200 fine.

Except… it's not from the Hong Kong protests. It's actually an art project by Jing-Cai Liu, an industrial design student at Eindhoven University of Technology in the Netherlands. Liu had come up with the concept of a wearable face projector as an undergrad at the University of the Arts in Utrecht. "In the future, the advertisement could call your name when you walk along the streets," she writes on her website:

Mega databanks and high-resolution cameras in the streets stock hundreds of exabytes a year. But who has access to this data? It is possible that it could have commercial use, hence not only retail companies but also the advertisement industry could be very interested in this data in the coming future. They would hope to gain these personal data and information as much as they can.

[…]

The companies would know your personal interests and may set different retail strategies for you.

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Data Goggles or Eye Massager?

Suggested marketing copy for the Breo iSee4 Eye and Temple Massager Temple:

He is wearing shiny goggles that wrap halfway round his head; the bows of the goggles have little earphones that are plugged into his outer ears.

The earphones have some built-in noise cancellation features. This sort of thing works best on steady noise...

The goggles throw a light, smoky haze across his eyes, and reflect a distorted wide-angle view of a brilliantly lit boulevard that stretches off into an infinite blackness. This boulevard does not actually exist; it is a computer-generated view of an imaginary place.

Actually, the eye massager does not immerse you into the Metaverse, but Snow Crash fans will want this anyway!

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Pain Box or Hand Massager?

Suggested marketing copy for the Breo iPalm520s Electric Acupressure Hand Palm Massager:

"Put your right hand in the box," she said.

Fear shot through Paul. He started to back away, but the old woman said: "Is this how you obey your mother?"

He looked up into bird-bright eyes.

Slowly, feeling the compulsions and unable to inhibit them, Paul put his hand into the box. He felt first a sense of cold as the blackness closed around his hand, then slick metal against his fingers and a prickling as though his hand were asleep.

A predatory look filled the old woman's features. She lifted her right hand away from the box and poised the hand close to the side of Paul's neck. He saw a glint of metal there and started to turn toward it.

"Stop!" she snapped.

Using the Voice again! He swung his attention back to her face.

"I hold at your neck the gom jabbar," she said. "The gom jabbar, the high-handed enemy. It's a needle with a drop of poison on its tip. Ah-ah! Don't pull away or you'll feel that poison."

...

He felt increased tingling in his hand, pressed his lips tightly together. How could this be a test? he wondered. The tingling became an itch... The itch became the faintest burning... It mounted slowly: heat upon heat upon heat... . The burning! The burning! He thought he could feel skin curling black on that agonized hand, the flesh crisping and dropping away until only charred bones remained.

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