Last year, British artist Adam Harvey created a line of facial makeup that can be used to foil face-recognition cameras. This year, he has created a line of sweatshirts with thermal-blocking materials designed to hide people from drones.
According to the article:
Wearing the fabric would make that part of the body look black to a drone, so the image would appear like disembodied legs. He also designed a pouch for cell phones that shields them from trackers by blocking the radio signals the phone emits. For those airport X-ray machines, he has a shirt with a printed design that blocks the radiation from one’s heart.
Obviously the sweatshirts can’t make people invisible (not without cooking them by trapping all the thermal energy), and so I’m not sure if the hoodie is supposed to trick automatic tracking or just make people harder for human operators or drones to track, but with permits for domestic use of drones passing in the US it’s no wonder that libertarians and privacy activists believe it’s time for a little push-back.
It’s also interesting to think that the odd styles imagined by science fiction writers might emerge in part as a kind of arms race between surveillance states and their citizens. If only a few people wear clothes or makeup like this, they will stand out. But if they actually gain even moderate acceptance, then we’ll be off to the races.