With around one CCTV camera for every 14 people in London – and unmanned police drones taking to the skies – surveillance is at an all-time high. Designer Adam Harvey wants to keep you off Big Brother's radar – so he's created Stealth Wear, a collection of clothes and accessories intended to hide you from snooping sensors.
Stuff.tv popped along to see the Stealth Wear collection in all its glory, and spoke to the designer as he showed off his wares – including stealth scarves and hoodies, t-shirts that protect you from X-rays and an "Anti-Drone" Burqa.
"The idea behind this is that technology used on the battlefield and in wars is now coming home, so this is a project that can improve privacy domestically when military technology trickles towards the mainstream," Harvey explains.
The garments in the collection are made from metalised fabric, which reflects heat – meaning that the wearer can't be picked up on thermal imaging cameras. "It's not a 100 per cent perfect solution," concedes Harvey. "I see it as a civilian-grade protection from surveillance that's out of our control."
But just how practical is this kit? The "Anti-Drone" Burqa might shield you from passing drones, but it's hardly inconspicuous – and at £1500, an expensive solution to a niche problem. "It is conceptual, but I wanted to make the collection accessible," says Harvey, who's particularly proud of the OFF Pocket – a pouch that blocks incoming and outgoing signals to your mobile phone. "The OFF Pocket is very accessible, and is intended for everyone from a high schooler trying not to be tracked by their parents, to politicians."
For Harvey, Stealth Wear is a response to a prevailing trend towards increased surveillance – from governments and private companies. "I think the big question for the next few years is whether we'll have a right to counter-surveillance or spoofing, faking a biometric or your identity in order to protect yourself," he explains. "If surveillance grows to a level that's beyond the control of individuals in a society, do we not have any legal recourse to protect against that?"
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