It’s garish, ghastly and in your face… but at least the fashion police will never find you. An Italian firm has invented clothing that fools surveillance cameras into thinking you’re an animal.
Start-up firm Cap-able describes its Manifesto Collection – including a £252 T-shirt, £370 sweater and £245 jogging bottoms – as ‘a wearable algorithm to protect our identity’.
The knitted fabric is woven with ‘adversarial patches’ which protect biometric face data and confuse AI computers into wrongly categorising the wearer as a dog, zebra or giraffe.
Despite fears the gear could be worn by criminals to hide their identity, CEO Rachele Didero said: ‘In a world where data is the new oil, Cap-able addresses the issue of privacy, opening the discussion on the importance of protecting against misuse of biometric recognition cameras.
‘The problem is increasingly present in daily life, involving citizens all over the world. If neglected, it could freeze rights of the individual including freedom of expression, association and free movement in public.’
Until now, adversarial patches have only been printed. Cap-able patented a process to weave the algorithm into fabric.
It says the clothes were tested on YOLO – the best-selling real-time object detection system. ‘People wearing Cap-able’s garments are not recognised as such by the software, which instead identifies dogs, zebras or giraffes in the fabric,’ it claims.
Metro style expert Nicole Mowbray said: ‘Good looking or affordable these aren’t. But fashion’s punk spirit has always been about challenging the status quo, championing the rights of the individual and sticking two fingers up to authority. These pieces most certainly fit that bill.’
Our Connect editor Lucy Hedges said Cap-able could help people feel their data is protected. ‘If they’ve got it right, they could be on to something game-changing,’ she said. ‘If not, you’re just looking at really overpriced, ugly knitwear.’
And one wag pointed out the gear is a boon for shoplifters…
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