Facial recognition and infrared technology security cameras and intrusion systems are on the rise, and are being deployed at record speeds for businesses and companies where protecting property, both physical and intellectual, is an extremely high priority. But, as security gets more savvy so do those who want to thwart your efforts with their own "cloaking" type of technology.
Here are four types of jamming or cloaking techniques and technology to educate your security staff about and keep an eye out for when visitors, invited or unwanted, show up and your cameras seem off when focused on them.
1. Microphone jammers
Computer science professors at the University of Chicago have taken people's concerns for privacy in their own home concerning Alexa, Echo, and other smart speaker and smart assistants, and developed a funky bracelet dubbed the "bracelet of silence" that jams any microphone within range. This includes not only smart home digital assistants but also your smartphone, smart watch, and any listening device you may have in your business, including microphones in your security cameras, as part of your security measures.
If someone is wearing this bracelet, which has 24 speakers that emit ultrasonic signals (sounds that are imperceptible to most except for most young children and dogs) when switched on, then any nearby microphones will detect the high-frequency sound instead of other noises. If your security camera playback shows video but the sound is gone or only high frequency noise, before you think your camera is faulty you may have had someone with a sound blocker nearby. Take a listen here:
2. Avant-garde hair and makeup styling fools algorithms
For those who really go the extra mile to stay off the facial recognition radar, whether innocent and simply doesn't like the security camera spotlight or someone who wants to remain difficult to identify for nefarious reasons, fashion in hair and makeup is where it's at. Think, punk-style camouflage. How does it work? The algorithms used for facial recognition, such as OpenCV haarcascade, rely on symmetry, tonal contours, and other key facial features and their spatial relationships. By creating what is called an "anti-face" those who wish to fool technology can try to get by undetected, or at least minimally detected by doing the following:
Using makeup that contrasts with skin tone, such as light colors on dark skin and dark colors on light skin. This means that makeup contouring to accentuate facial features and symmetry like an Instagram-celebrity would is a no-no when it comes to someone who wants to hide from your security system.
Obscuring the area on the face where the nose, eyes, and forehead intersect.
Blocking or confusing the position and darkness of the eyes.
Using hair and fashion accessories to confuse facial contrasts and light and dark areas.
Creating the illusion that your head is no longer elliptical in shape.
Manipulating the symmetry of the face to make it as asymmetrical as possible.
The next time you see someone lurking around your business or property looking straight off the punk runway, it may be a lot more than simply a fashion statement or claimed personal expression. Check out these avant garde facial-recognition scrambling styles from CV Dazzle:
3. Eyewear that reflects infrared light back onto security cameras
For those who don't have the time, or the taste, for the super cool looking but time intensive commitment of avant garde facial recognition fooling fashion makeup and hair, something much simpler and far less attention grabbing is as simple as a pair of glasses with special lenses. One company leading the charge in this innovative security foiling eyewear is called Reflectacles, claiming that their lenses can "block 3D infrared facial mapping both day & night. They also block 2D video algorithm based facial recognition on cameras using infrared for illumination." And, to make it even more convenient you can simply use their universal clip-on to attach to the glasses you already wear.
Image source and credit: www.reflectacles.com
Of course, as individuals we can appreciate the value of protecting our identities from spying eyes, but for companies that handle sensitive information, have a lot invested in valuable property both intellectual and personal, or have any element of hazard that in the wrong hands could lead to serious problems, facial recognition technology is a key element. Even sports arenas are taking measures to ensure the safety of both entertainment acts and spectators by using facial recognition to identify already known individuals who should not be there. If your company uses facial recognition technology as part of your security measures and your cameras are getting infrared reflected back into the lens, then you have someone on your premises who doesn't want you to see they are there - whether they just don't like the idea of being watched and have no ill intent, or if they are masking their identity for a "don't get caught" reason. With your integrated security and access control system, especially if your system has geofencing, you can still pinpoint their location and take necessary precaution and access control measures if suspicious activity is detected.
4. Stealth anti-drone fashion
Taking it even further, some people want more than just facial recognition and infrared foiled. Some want a cloaking device like Harry Potter and his Cloak of Invisibility! Now, it's possible, if you don't mind wearing a hijab or burka - the traditional Islamic style inspiration for artist Adam Harvey and is "Stealth Wear."
Image source and credit: https://ahprojects.com/stealth-wear/
Depending on the length of the garment, whatever is covered by it will be nearly 100% cloaked from long wave infrared security cameras (LWIR) that detect thermal radiation. In other words, heat detection cameras. The wearable tech is made with silver-plated flexible synthetic fabric that reflect and diffuse thermal radiation emitted by the wearer. But, considering the shop is nearly sold out of everything, finding someone wearing one of these Stealth Wear Anti-Drone garments to sneak by your security system is probably low probability. But, there are alternatives to be aware of.
Image source and credit: https://ahprojects.com/stealth-wear/
A very similar effect can be obtained by using an aluminized mylar blanket, AKA a "space blanket." However, it is more difficult to wear.
What to do?
If your business or property relies on security enhanced by infrared and facial recognition technology, the best thing you can do is be aware, be educated, and educate whoever else is manning your security. With an integrated system that includes access control at the foundation, getting through the perimeter alone will be the first hurdle an intruder must tackle with security cameras adding significant backup to your vetted system as a whole. To find out how you can enhance your security, even in the face of technology designed to block it, give GenX Security a call. We're Greenville's 5-Star trusted integrator of physical security for businesses and commercial application. And, our quote are ALWAYS free.
Visit us on the web at www.genxsecurity.com or give us a call at 866-598-4369.
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