- World design
Early on we had a pretty good idea of the kind of world we wanted to craft. We chose a world where the citizens are constantly under heavy surveillance; taking inspiration from movies and shows like Minority Report and Person of Interest. We thought we would take this blatant invasion of privacy a step further though and in our world not only are people constantly watched by cameras with facial recognition software, but also have a GPS tracking chip implanted at birth. The government can then use the chip to track your activities at any time.
- Rebellious Brainstorming
To rebel against this world we decided on developing a way to obfuscate the data that the government was getting thus resulting in them dropping this invasive technology. The first idea was to stop the chip from transmitting a signal to the system there by denying the much needed data the system needs to work. So, we decided on creating a jamming device to block the signal. This was unfeasible though, as it is illegal to make or own one of these in the US.
- Idea refinement
We also realized, that the absence of data is also data, and that we would need a different method to shut down the system. So, rather than block the signal we chose to spoof it. This involved sending false GPS data out to give the system the wrong data of the person. Just popping up 10 miles away in a moment is just as flag raising though so, our solution would need to be able to move the person to the desired destination at a reasonable pace. During this time a way to fool the facial recognition in the cameras was suggested to us, CV Dazzle. The idea behind this is that by applying dark makeup in certain spots and designs on the face the software can be fooled into thinking there is no face. This is a subject already being researched, and for our world we imagine that this sort of design can be marketed as a sort of high fashion to proliferate it through the populace. We would create temporary tattoos that can create these designs with a single stamp. Then a person using the aforementioned device and the tattoos would be able to vanish from the government’s eye whenever they wished.
The prototyping design process is documented below.
Red Herring (The App)
We wanted the name to be something that fit the function of our app. In our original idea, the watch only blocked the signal and “made you invisible to the government.” We came up with our first name for this device, RabbitHole, to fit the function of this device. However, we got a lot of feedback that the government would easily notice random GPS signals disappearing from their tracking. So we changed this to fit the feedback. Our new idea was to jam the signal but also create a fake signal that sends false location data to the government. At this point, we looked for names that fit the new function of this device. Since the new functionality was mainly to mislead the government, we came up with the name Red Herring.
Wireframe and Ideation:
Our final Red Herring product looked like the following:
CobraCover (The Tattoos)
The name for this was inspired by designs on a cobra that is meant to trick its enemies. Similarly, the function of our app is for people to trick the government by making their facial recognition unreliable, ultimately bringing the system down.
We made some designs that were inspired by existing designs that trick facial recognition.
Our final product, applied, looks like:
We tested these designs through a site called Face++. This site lets you upload a picture and it will identify faces and the features of the face (race, sex, head tilt, etc.). The results of our testing looked are below. The blue dots are meant to match up to the eyes, nose, and corners of the mouth.
As you can see from our testing, the facial recognition never 100% identified the location of all major features on the face, although it did identify a face with decent accuracy 2 out of the 3 times. One time, however, the facial detection did not detect a face at all, proving that these types of designs do have some merit in breaking facial recognition.
CobraCover Logo Design:
Red Herring Logo Design:
Early Video Concept:
- Early evening, man walking on crowded (if possible) street (8 seconds)
- Man stops and touches back of head, thinking (4-5 seconds)
- Camera can cut to a dark room where people are watching a giant map that tracks people (5 seconds) (not necessary)
- Looks around and sees camera, keeps looking more and more frantically, camera keeps cutting to different security cams that are watching between shots of person looking around (10 seconds)
- Takes out tattoo from pocket, applies to face discreetly (8 seconds)
- Show tattoo up close (5 seconds)
- Man looks at watch (5 seconds)
- Camera gets images of watch interface (8 seconds)
- Back to man walking off (disappearing into crowd if crowd == true)
Our final video did not get all the scenes that we originally wanted, but most scenes from our storyboard did make the final cut. Our final video can be found here.