Surveilluminescent Smart Dust == lights that glow like fireflies when they
are being watched by surveillance cameras == map out cities or other large
spaces to visualize the field-of-coverage of surveillance camera networks...
Left: Stephanie (age 8) uses hand gestures with Meta Spaceglasses as
a gesture-based user-interface to the Surveillicopter.
Right: Surveillicopter maps out the "Sightfield"
of surveillance cameras.
is a brief biography on the inventor, Steve Mann; and also
Wikipedia has more info on
- Invention title: Surveillicopter
- Summary explanation -- how it works:
a radio controlled helicopter or quadcopter or other "drone"
is fitted with one or more surveillametric sensors
and flies around a space to determine surveillance coverage and
make that coverage visible.
I some embodiments this is done by an array of light on the "drone",
where each light is (sur)veilluminescent, i.e.
it glows when it is being
watched by a surveillance camera or sousveillance camera, or
computer vision system.
During a long exposure photograph, or when viewed through a smartphone,
or through AR (Augmediated Reality)
glasses, running an abakographic imaging app, the otherwise invisible
"sightfield" of a camera or other vision system is made visible.
The result is a visible map of what the cameras throughout a city or other
space can see.
This allows us to map out and visualize the (sur)veillance coverage of a
city or other space.
- Example commercial application:
I originally created this invention as a visual artist to picture the
otherwise hidden worlds of surveillance, sousveillance, and vision,
and create discourse on the topic of
sur/sous/veillance in society.
As a commercial product the (sur)veillicopter and associated services
can be marketed to cities, urban planners, police departments,
citizen's groups, and the like,
to find "dead spots" or to
verify that the surveillance coverage is complete.
It can be used by insurance companies to assess coverage (i.e. safety and
risk assessment). It can be used by planners to visualize future or
planned surveillance coverage. This could be a potentially large
(multi billion dollar) market if it became required equipment for
insurance coverage, or for surviellance audits.
It can also be used to help ensure privacy and lack of veillance
coverage in certain areas (e.g. to make sure that a police
can't see into people's homes, through their windows,
into washroom or locker room areas by way of
multiple reflections of mirrors, etc.).
And it can be used by authorities, or by
individuals, e.g. as a form of visual art, and gaming.
- Link to technical papers associated with the invention:
- Patent applications filed or issued:
Patent pending. A provisional US patent, with full set of claims,
was filed Sunday2014may04.
There is still time to file a PCT or to file
in other countries, before the 1 year
"grace period" is up on 2015 May 04.
Other previous patents have already been granted.
- Prototypes constructed: Several working prototypes have been
constructed but additional work is required regarding industrial
design, ruggedization, and other improvements.
- Further possibilities:
this invention can be regarded as
an extension of the Veillance Wand invention, and may include
aspects of the
The Veillance Wand invention can be extended and deepened, if desired,
by including Ryan Janzen, co-creator of the
We also have collaborators at the
Centre for Biocomposites and Biomaterials Processing,
University of Toronto,
capable of making a Bio-Nano Holography
version of our surveilluminescent materials that work with the MannGlass
holographic video HUD (Head Up Display) for use in eyeglasses and
automobile windshields, etc:
(Professor S. Mann, of Engineering, is also cross-appointed to
the Faculty of Forestry, where the CBBP is based.)
Return to a list of some of Steve Mann inventions