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Spy mannequins to trap thieves

dicembre 19, 2012 Technology No Commenti

The merchants love it already. The dummy with perfect shapes that occupies all the shop windows of the world could soon become the best friend of the shopkeepers because it may report in real time, not only the presence of thieves and criminals, but also age, gender and tastes of customers. These are spy mannequins of Eye See line, humanoid dolls equipped with miniature cameras for eyes. They record, thanks to facial recognition software, the characteristics of the passers-by and send the data to a software similar to those used by the police to identify criminals.

The dummy bionic technology was launched in 2010 by the Italian Almax Spa together with Kee Square, spinoff of Milan Polytechnic. So behind the silhouette of polystyrene could be hiding a real security guard. Unlike traditional surveillance cameras that record from a well defined corner, the dummy, observing the client, is able to capture more information and creates a database of profiles guaranteeing the anonymity. The influx of the customers, according to the preferred time band, which objects attract them more, the dwell time in front of the shop window and other factors, make possible to customize the service. The CEO of the manufacturer, claims that there aren’t dangers to privacy because the images are only analyzed and not stored.
The European and American legislations allow the use of cameras for security purposes, when customers are aware of these systems.

Meanwhile, the Italian engineers, fathers of this invention, are trying to give to the mannequins even the ears in order to record, through microrecorders, comments and criticisms.
Currently each dummy costs about 4000 euro. Some copies have already been sold in some European countries and in the U.S.. In fact, the eccessive expense for the implementation of this technology could easily be avoided with the separate purchase of professional video and audio bugs that allow you to get guaranteed results.

The helmet to see 360° like flies

dicembre 13, 2012 Technology No Commenti

It’s called Flyviz and has been designed by a team of French scientists of INRIA (National Institute for Research in computer science and automation).
The helmet to see the reality at 360° offers an instant overview on the sides of the body and on the back. This prototype, presented first in Paris, then at the conference “Virtual Reality Software and Technology 12” of Toronto, could have great applications in surveillance and security fields because it allows real-time to detect dangers around himself. The patented system is based on items currently available on the market: a digital micro camera, a laptop, an helmet and a display.
Therefore, the helmet works thanks to a digital microcamera connected to the upper part of it which, pointed towards one hemispherical mirror, allows to acquire images at 360°. The images would result distorted, as if we looked at the world from the reflection in a sphere. At this point the computer connected to it, corrects the visual, making it perfectly adherent to the reality through the technique of the spherical projection. Once completed the perfecting, the images are transmitted, with a transmission delay of only 83 milliseconds, on a small screen located inside the helmet, in front of the eyes of the observer and gradually to the right and to the left.

Apart from the applications that the instrument could have in the military sector, the helmet was designed primarily to study human perception. In fact this isn’t a “virtual reality”, but an increase of the natural visual field of the human being. Of course to learn to use it, you will need of an initial training.
If the device will enter into common usage, many sports enthusiasts who want to emphasize their feats with high level videocameras will also enjoy.

Internet of things will revolutionize our daily

dicembre 10, 2012 Localization, Technology No Commenti

Web 3.0 isn’t yet far away. All the big laboratories are working hard to develop new applications concerning the Internet of things. With this neologism has been named the last frontier of online technology. The strength lies in the possibility given to objects to interact with each other by capturing and exchanging information.
The alarm clock may sound for example in advance once found, through the Internet, heavy traffic conditions. And so the refrigerators could buy online the ideal food for our diet, the plants could alert the watering that they need water, the containers of medicines communicate that you forgot to take a pill.
In short, all objects of common use may have access to the network by changing radically our daily life. Almost all things will possess its own IP address becoming so connected and traceable. It’s assumed that by 2015, 15 billion devices will be online. Bob Kahn, the man who together with Vinton Cerf, invented in the seventies the data transmission protocol on which is based the Web, is working in the United States in the development of the project.

The goal of the Internet of things is to ensure that the electronic world draw a map of the real world, giving an electronic identity to the things and to the places in the physical environment. In short, the real objects collect environmental data, process them and interact virtually with each other through microantennas 3G, wi-fi and GPS systems. The equipments will also continue to miniaturize themselves reaching the size of the most advanced bugs for fields of application increasingly numerous.

Everything will be smart, from the house to the city. An example will be the urban transport system in London: the sensors of the subway trains will signal to passengers in the carriage where there are empty seats, the parking will be on the network, so as to be sure to find a place before you get into the car, the semaphores will coordinate so as to dispose the traffic effectively.

The fields of application will be numerous: from industrial ones to logistics and information services, energy efficiency, remote service and environmental protection.
The stumbling block is the privacy safeguard. If all our items will be online, track our movements will be very simple, as already happens today with the most modern GPS tracking systems. It will be like wearing 24-24h a surveillance camera. The solution could be the installation of switches, if required, disabling the tracking. But these are still hypotheses, we have to wait at least 2015 in order to begin to feel first hand the pros and cons of this new technology.

Glasses of the future

dicembre 4, 2012 Technology No Commenti

Could be the top objects of the technology of the new year. Smart glasses. Were launched by Google in early 2012 as “augmented reality glasses” that can keep users constantly connected to the Internet without use the hands.
Obviously this new idea was quickly imitated and integrated. The last competitors, in chronological order, are the cousins of the Microsoft. This patent, submitted by Redmond, would be aimed at providing real-time information about your surroundings. Data on everything that the user sees, from objects to large events. The lenses, capturing the gaze direction, will govern the display and the optics in the best way.

While Google Glasses have very similar characteristics to those of a smartphone, Microsoft proposes a “wearable computing” that works in real time and with new features.
We don’t know which operating system will be used, but obviously they will be equipped with the most classic and now indispensable tools: camera, tracking systems, microphones, WiFi and Bluetooth.

These type of glasses could be the evolution of the surveillance systems on the market for some time. These are glasses with a video camera and a recorder built-in that allow for fun or for professional reasons to record what happens around without being seen. In fact, the mount hides the micro audio and video tools. Endoacustica glasses have a built-in memory card with the capacity of 4 GB, in which the files are saved.
The devices are usually used by law enforcement or intelligence agents, but more often are bought by people who want to take hands-free, by who practice sport or even by those who need to gather evidence furtively. This type of systems and many others can be purchased from the website www.endoacustica.com.

The Cyber City born in the USA

novembre 29, 2012 Technology No Commenti

15 thousand of users virtually trained to fight in order to defend the networks of the American institutions that would have entered in the sights of hacker attacks originating primarily from China and Iran. A few weeks ago there was talk of an attack on the White House that was quickly stemed by US computer technicians. This and other episodes have led Defense and Security officers to take serious actions in the field of virtual security. Defense Secretary, Leon E. Panetta, said that digital attacks “could be as destructive as the terrorist attack on 9/11”. Cybercity is the answer to these alarmisms almost justified at the dawn of 2013.

The virtual city has, like every other city, a bank, a bar, a hospital and all the necessary services. The “citizens” would be the computer experts of the Pentagon in course of training for fighting cyber battles and defeat those who try to enter in the monitored sites.
The city is managed by a computer security company, made up of very experienced hacker, which is based in New Jersey. To develop the abilities of users are continuously simulated attacks of all kinds: the lack of network that controls the subway, the absence of traffic lights after a hacker attack…

Cyber City isn’t the only project under development in the context of a possible cyber war but, as it’s easy to understand, even the “enemies” are gearing up and in very short time. In America they are also working on “Plan X“, a complete map of the billions of computers around the world connected to the network. Most likely other governments are developing resources similar to those of the U.S. Defense; in fact the importance of computers and the internet have reached, is now significant and evident and who neglects this aspect could become easy prey for a war much more real than today can be understood.

But the cyber war isn’t only to think about the levels of Wall Street or the Pentagon, but it’s a widespread practice among companies around the world. Industrial espionage occurs more and more often online. With simple tools such as a USB key you can absorb all the files and documents on a pc and in the same way, you can record all keystrokes typed, be they words or password. You just have to redesign, like the Americans, your security systems, possibly increasing the use of microcameras that can ensure complete control of workstations and consequently the way in which the tools are used.

Technologies for surveillance

novembre 26, 2012 Technology No Commenti

Mini wireless airships, missiles ultrafast that cross the planet in few minutes, small aerial video surveillance helicopter, sophisticated audio-video devices. These are the most modern technologies in the service of intelligence.
To spy are used special mobile phones, computers remotely monitored and everyday objects cleverly changed. Unlimited source for intelligence is doubtless internet and in particular social networks. A kind of self monitoring through the post that, along with the IP addresses, allow you to precisely locate a person. On the other hand, today isn’t only the PC the domestic object that can connect to the Internet, but also a wide range of devices from television to GPS car.

According to Oleg Glazunov, expert of the military politocologists association, the object most suitable to control a person is the mobile phone. In fact, the device can be easily modified and thus allow not only to listen the conversations inbound and outbound, but also to read the sms.
Through a valid GPS system is easy to know at any time where is the cell and consequently its owner. Also, if you aren’t in possession of a mobile phone, but near there is a phone apparently unused, you can however be listened.

All of these advanced tools are putting a strain on the work of spies. In fact, often the tools to be used don’t need of experts, but they work in a very simple and are accessible by anyone.
For example, a few years ago on television we have seen the use of drones during military operations in the Middle East. These are “robots”, now regularly enrolled by the armed forces of many countries. These are even able to fly and perform surveillance missions in the no-fly zone to intercept aircraft not authorized, on the sea to look for passengers of a boat in trouble or among the most inaccessible mountains in search of missing. Some drones are controlled at km away, others can be programmed and then work in complete autonomy for hours and hours. Naturally, the same can also be used as bombers or kamikaze.
The American army has recently confirmed that it has used a particular flying drone in Afghanistan, which, equipped with a load of explosives, can be programmed to launch against a target and than explode.

Read minds? We can!

novembre 21, 2012 Technology No Commenti

A group of researchers has discovered that our confidentiality may be put at risk by the development of devices for reading of thought. “On the Feasibility of Side-Channel Attacks with Brain-Computer Interfaces” is the title of the research conducted by a group of scientists from the University of Geneva, Berkeley and Oxford, which aims the use of a new type of interface based on the principle electroencephalography (EEG).

In fact, some controllers are already on the market at a reasonable price (from 200 to $ 300) and allow you to interact with the computer programs, video games and other devices using only the mind. Examples would be the P300 Emotiv Epoc, the MindWave of Neurosky or the new Muse. These technologies use the electrodes to read the onset of P300 waves, ie ERP waves (event-related potential), that our brain emits in front to particular stimuli. These devices are enriched with downloadable programs and, as with the normal app developers, the developers in exchange for their service, open a window on the activities of the users, in this case directly on the brain of someone who uses these devices.

So these devices can be used for a real hacking of the brain of someone who employs them. As absurd it may become relatively easy to “read the mind” of the user through this system that measures the reactions of the subjects to the stimuli produced by the same program. From the studies performed on Epoc, disturbing data emerge, already from now that the technology is in the experimental stage, the scientists were able to pick up useful information to reconstruct details as the month of birth, the residence area, the knowledge of other people, passwords and the name of the reference banks.
All information that could increase the sphere of illegality. Of course, judges and law enforcement will take advantage: in addition to the powerful tools of investigation, as bugs and GPS locators, they could use these kinds of “lie detector”, maybe in interrogations.

In the near future when the devices and programs will become much more accurate, it might be possible the reading from a distance of several data contained in the minds of users. Already a step forward has been taken with “Muse” which reduced the size of the Epoc helmet to that of a band around to half of the skull. Muse is not yet a mature product, but its creators have however shown interesting potential. The device is able to interact with iPhone, iPad, Android apps and computer with Linux operating system, all obviously leaving that the machine reads the electrical activity of the brain through an EEG and translate signals into commands to electronic devices through wireless signals.

In theory, these findings may represent valid solutions even if the risks to health aren’t to underestimate: it’s always to maintain for hours on a transmitting machinery to a few millimeters from the brain.

The ideal phone for spies? The Blackberry

novembre 16, 2012 Technology No Commenti

The Federal Information Processing Standard has stated that “The system of the Canadian company is the safest and the most suitable to be used for the exchange and the sharing of confidential material between the Americans agents”. There is no story, at least in this field, for the product of Cupertino.

Big success so for Rim (Research In Motion), the Canadian telecommunications company that has recently developed the platform BlackBerry 10. With this valid system, for example, within the memory card, the new data are written above the deleted ones so as to eliminate them altogether.

The new Rim platform will arrive in early 2013. Android, iOS and Windows Phone aren’t result up to receive the go ahead for the protocol FIPS 140-2, which ensures that the data stored on devices are adequately protected and encrypted. That is what guarantee the encrypted devices themselves. The protocol, conferred by the National Institute of Standards and Technology, is mandatory for mobile devices used to convey confidential and sensitive information.
According to the system in force in the United Kingdom and the United States, the BlackBerry 10 can be used to send and receive documents classified as “limited” level and following. It isn’t suitable for the information cataloged with canons of secrecy of any level. The British government has yet to ratify the BlackBerry 10 safety certification, the previous OS Blackberry 7 has already been approved.

On the other hand transform the Blackberry into a real spy isn’t difficult. It would be enough to install a software provided by leading companies in the field of espionage and surveillance as Endoacustica Europe. Installing this program, the smartphone would be able to listen phone calls and read messages in and out of the cell that you want to put under control. And there’s more. With the spy software Endoacustica you can also hear what is happening around the phone “controlled”. A real monitoring system for professionals and passionates.

USA: sms while driving cause of death of 11 young people per day

novembre 8, 2012 Technology No Commenti

The data collected by the National Safety Council, denounced the deaths of 11 American teenagers per day due to the sending of text messages while driving. The careless use of mobile phones would be the distraction that cause 25% of accidents per year in America. Situation very alarming if you consider that in many U.S. states to drive while talking or fiddling on the phone is perfectly legal. Obviously the problem is not only of young people but also of adults who during several polls have admitted to use usually their cell phone while they are driving.

U.S. telephone companies have tried to remedy this trend with various awareness campaigns that have seen also one of the protagonists much loved by the teenager, Justin Bieber. Actually, there are already apps that allow you to send text messages by voice command, but it seems that these have brought few results in terms of safety. It’s strange that in the immensity of the apps that are churned out every day isn’t still available an effective solution to the use of mobile phone safely. For now, we shall resort to parental-control, that is entrusted to the parents the control of the phone while driving his son. Planting a spy software in the mobile phone of the boy, for example, you can control what it does with the phone in real time and know when and how it is using the device. Furthermore, the same tool allows you to listen to what is happening around him, and so it’s easy to understand if the person is in the car or not.

Another research conducted by the Automobile Club of Italy estimated that between 15 and 40% of major incidents can be attributed to sleep or tiredness, most often associated with contributing factors such as alcohol, drugs, hearty meal. Just a moment. The eyes close, the head go down against the handlebar while the hands that hold it are always softer.
Falling asleep suddnley is therefore responsible for about one incident in twenty. Tiredness is one of the most important factors with regard to the safety, in fact you should not drive for more than two consecutive hours and should be done after each period of driving, at least 10 minute break and rest. Sleep little leads to drive more nervous and fast. And so the speed may be another consequence of the bad habit.
The coffee, the radio on, a person beside or a little break often aren’t enough. Endoacustica has tested an antisleep device, which is positioned comfortably over the ear and, in the case in which the head is inclined by more than 30 degrees, it starts to produce a loud sound that brings the driver quickly to reality. The product can be purchased online from the site www.endoacustica.com, the “Self Defense“.

Patent fever: here the most bizarre

novembre 6, 2012 Technology No Commenti

The patent fever runs wild and the protagonists are all the major manufacturers of technological tools in the world. These ideas are preserved in the data bank of the American Authority “USPTO” and probably will one day find real application. Let’s see some of the most bizarre patents.

To avoid the tragic fall to the ground of the smartphone, Amazon has filed a patent in 2011 that would see the opening of some airbags before the phone hits the ground. It’s of Motorola home, the invention of “spanking” of the rude phone that rings at inopportune moments. It seems that hitting the back of the device, it will be silent. The visionary Apple has thought to the “eternal” tablet , whose charge will last for several months. Of the same parent company, but also of LG, is the idea of collapsible materials that would see the implementation of flexible tools. Nokia is determined not to miss even a phone call with the glasses that light up when arrives the call, the tattoo that moves when the phone rings and the phone that comes close when you call.

Someone has even thought to the personal defense for owners of iPhone 5. A cover with spray irritant, to be used in case of aggression. It would seem in truth impractical when compared to the most advanced spray cans. Always of the Cupertino’s home is the idea of transforming the device into a remote control or insert into that an anti-theft system. With a series of hidden sensors, in fact, you can detect whether a stranger is using our phone or tablet. iPhone or iPad will compare a series of personal parameters: heart rate, voice and various features of physical appearance. Questionable invention if we consider the ease with which these systems can be fooled. In any case absolutely nothing to do with the micro security systems capable of operating without being seen.

The giants of the industry, in reality, are more involved in lawsuits than in the squeeze of brains to bring out brilliant ideas that could find a useful application in everyday life. We’ll see what we can use to really effective in the coming years.


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