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Stealthwear Goes Mainstream

posted Jul 3, 2013, 10:57 AM by Ellen Pearlman



Adam Harvey, Stealth Wear

With Edward Snowden so much in the news these days, everyone is running around trying to figure out how they can escape various types of surveillance.

One answer I like concerns fashion, known as “stealth ware," for the “fashionably paranoid."  Adam Harvey, based in New York has developed what he calls “anti drone" clothing, or “lightweight, modern amor. " Made in collaboration with designer Joannah Bloomfield, his latest designs start with thermal imaging but try to be functional, i.e. hoodies, burkas, you know normal day wear. Its a metallic fabric with copper, nickel and silver fused into the fabric that reflects the wearer’s body heat for “thermal signature reduction." This is not a new technology, having been around for more than 20 years, but is being used in a new way, especially by the art and tech crowd. In the past the fabric’s main was to wrap gaskets to stop communications equipment from leaking static electricity and inviting electromagnetic interference. 

The designs have been created to reveal parts of the body, as well as conceal them, so as to not render the individual invisible just undetectable to drones. Its part of a preparedness for what Harvey refers to as the nascent “multi spectrum surveillance era." He readily admits that privacy, will, in the future be yet another luxury item.

CV Dazzle, another one of Harvey’s creations begins with facial recognition patterns from Open Frameworks, and with a little face paint. It confuses the hell out of facial recognition software.


CV Dazzle


Facial recognition points

As early as 2010 at Makerfaire on the West coast there was an "anti-surveillance" fashion show, a geeky but fun statement at the time on a yet not ready for prime time development