Merry Christmas; I got you a panopticon

Two quick links; I’ll leave you to do the math yourself. First up – ‘smart’ CCTV system learns to spot suspicious behaviour with a little help from its human operators:

… a next-generation CCTV system, called Samurai, which is capable of identifying and tracking individuals that act suspiciously in crowded public spaces. It uses algorithms to profile people’s behaviour, learning about how people usually behave in the environments where it is deployed. It can also take changes in lighting conditions into account, enabling it to track people as they move from one camera’s viewing field to another.


Samurai is designed to issue alerts when it detects behaviour that differs from the norm, and adjusts its reasoning based on feedback. So an operator might reassure the system that the person with a mop appearing to loiter in a busy thoroughfare is no threat. When another person with a mop exhibits similar behaviour, it will remember that this is not a situation that needs flagging up.

And secondly – a facial recognition door lock system retailing for under UK£300.

… can store and register up to 500 faces thanks to an internal dual sensor and two cameras. This, claims the manufacturer, “allows it to establish an incredible facial recognition algorithm in a fraction of a second”. Importantly, the system also works at night. A 3.5 inch screen and touch keypad are also included.

The system can also be used to record attendance in an office. There’s a USB and Ethernet port so that managers can download or keep track of who arrives and leaves the office when.

I have the sudden urge to talk at length to people about the findings of the Stanford Prison Experiment.

One thought on “Merry Christmas; I got you a panopticon”

  1. I vacillate between being amused that a device designed to detect behavior differing from the norm was named with a Japanese word and offended at the idea of an electronic peeping tom named after iconic warriors.

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