LONDON – If privacy is more important to you than your fashion sense, this item (and this clothing line) is for you. A new line of garish clothing claims to “hide” you from surveillance cameras. The knitted garments use tech-derived patterns to trick the AI into thinking the wearer is an animal.
Italian fashion tech startup Cap_able describes its Manifesto collection as a “wearable algorithm to protect our identity”. It uses a technological system capable of transposing images (called conflicting fixes) on a knitted fabric that can be used to fool so-called “people detectors” in real time.
Wearing an item in which a contradictory image is woven can protect a person’s facial biometric data. The result is that either the individual will not be detectable, or it will be associated with an incorrect category such as animals, including dogszebras or giraffes.
The clothes went on sale for $311 for a t-shirt, with sweaters at $456 and jogging bottoms available for $302.
Cap_able says the goal of the Manifesto collection is to raise awareness about the right to privacy and the protection of biometric data, which they say is an often underrepresented issue despite affecting the majority of the world’s citizens.
“Choosing what to wear is the first act of communication we perform, every day. A choice that can carry our values,” said Rachele Didero, CEO of Cap_able, in a press release. “In a world where data is the new oil, Cap_able addresses the issue of privacyopening the discussion on the importance of protecting against the misuse of biometric recognition cameras: an issue that has become increasingly present in our daily lives, involving citizens around the world and which, if neglected , could freeze the rights of the individual including freedom of expression, association and free movement in public spaces.
Until now, conflicting patches were only printed. The method patented by Cap_able makes it possible to integrate the algorithm into the texture in order to ensure perfect fit of clothes without losing their effectiveness and marrying perfectly to the volumes of the body.
Cap_able claims that the fabric has been tested with YOLO, the most common and fastest real-time object detection system. “Cap_able aims to change the way people look at the clothes and accessories they wear by bringing a completely new and deeper attitude to the fashion industry,” adds co-founder Federica Busani. “Cap_able wants to find new solutions and new fields of application of technology, to make people think about an urgent problem that is too often underestimated.
Do you think the fashion industry will take an interest in this privacy-protecting clothing line? Would you wear Cap_able’s clothes if you knew you could bypass the cameras? Let us know in the comments section below!
South West News Service writer Dean Murray contributed to this report.