Personal Safety Device for "Suicurity"

The Safety First™ system, device, invention, mobile app, and service (Security First™, Sicherheit Zuerst™)

  1. Invention title: The Safety First™ PSD (Personal Safety Device).
    Possible mobile app, product, service, and device names derive from a 1997 mobile wearable app and art installation at Ars Electronica, by Steve Mann, entitled "Sicherheit Zuerst™" ("Safety First™" and "Security First™"), Sicherheitsglaeser™ (Safety Glass, Security Glass), using a convenient double-entendre of the German language in which the words for "safety" and "security" are the same. An old self-portrait of Mann, wearing his 1980 "Safety First™" prototype, was used as the cover picture for the conference proceedings.
  2. Summary explanation -- how it works:
    Existing approaches to safety and security focus primarily on surveillance, for example, cameras attached to land or buildings.

    The Safety First™ system uses your smartphone or wearable computer or wearable camera to stream live audio/video, gps, indoor positioning location, vibration (movement), and physiological (ECG, EEG, etc) information to a monitoring centre or "Safety Net™" (social network for safety).

    SafetyFirst uses sousveillance, e.g. cameras or other sensors (e.g. smartphone or wearable computer) attached to people.

    Moreover, with the PSD, the user can, if desired, open a 2-way communications link to establish a matter-of-fact remote presence. One embodiment of Safety First™ is a device that transmits live video for remote assistance, safety, or security. The remote assistance is by way of your "Safety Net™" == network of friends and family, or a professional service, or, in special situations, police, security guards, or other authorities (or in the case of a person being harrassed by police, the SafetyNet™ can include human rights workers, news authorities, reporters, etc.).

    Late at night, a person can have a virtual "safe walk" effect as one or more remote observers keep a window on their view in the background of their other work (e.g. doing other work on their computer while keeping a small side window of PSD video data open to glance at now and again).

    For the elderly, and those at risk, e.g. persons with special needs, a remote 2-way link is established. A synergistic effect often occurs in which an able-bodied but visually impaired person can join forces with a mobility challenged person, one living vicariously through the eyes of the other.

  3. Example commercial applications: Safety, health, wellness, presonal security, etc.. Ingle International (Ingle Insurance) has already expressed interest in this invention, and they could, for example, be the remote service provider. In this application, a remote call centre or crisis centre is setup 1-way (e.g. covert) or 2-way (e.g. where an attacker or assailant is made aware of the remote connection and actually is being talked to by the remote party). Another example application is to help in addressing bullying. Presently persons with special needs are often bullied others, inluding police or security guards, due to the fact that people with special needs often act differently than others, and acting differently is seen as suspicious.

    The PSD might have saved the life of Sammy Yatim, and others suffering from mental challenges, who otherwise end up being shot dead by police because of differences in their responses or actions. In this case, the PSD makes it known to the potential attacker (whether the attacker is a civilian or a guard or an officer) that the attacker is being watched by a remote entity.

    In situations where surveillance fails due to the inherent lack of integrity of surveillance, the PSD can provide sousveillance. See, for example, "Cop Turns off Dash Cam & Attacks Unarmed 66 Year Old Man with Dementia", where an officer turns off his surveillance camera so that he can break the law and not get caught. Knowing that another camera feed is running, and being able to talk with a remote representative, might have helped prevent this kind of violence.

    Much like the big screen TV displaying video surveillance at the entrance to a shopping mall, the PSD can include a wearable video screen that shows a video conference call with a remote call centre like Ingle International, a company that already has extensive experience with tense standoffs like hostage negotions and hostile attackers.

  4. Link to technical papers associated with the invention: •The Witnessential Network
    Cyborglogging with camera phones: Steps toward equiveillance
    Personal Safety Devices Enable “Suicurity”
    •General non-technical description: Canadian Business Week, Feb. 2007
  5. Patent applications filed or issued:
    •System, method and computer program for capturing, sharing, and annotating content WO 2009052618 A1.
    •Other patents in-progress.
  6. Prototypes constructed: Several working prototypes have been constructed by S. Mann, and by S. Mann working with his team of students, but additional work is required regarding industrial design and other improvements.
  7. Further possibilities: This work can be extended and deepened, if desired, by bringing in Ryan Janzen, and Mir Adnan Ali, on this invention. See also a related inventions:
    Alibi Sousveillance
Here is a brief biography on the inventor, Steve Mann; and also Wikipedia has more info on inventor S. Mann.

Return to a list of some of Steve Mann inventions