Drone U: This Fashion Designer Wants to Shield You From Drone Surveillance

Future Tense
The Citizen's Guide to the Future
June 4 2014 2:29 PM

Drone U: This Fashion Designer Wants to Shield You From Drone Surveillance

Every few weeks on Future Tense, we highlight a talk from Drone U in which a leading thinker speaks about what our drone future may look like. Drone U is produced in cooperation with the New America Foundation. (Future Tense is a partnership of Slate, the New America Foundation, and Arizona State University.)

This week, Drone U features a podcast from Adam Harvey, an artist and technologist who designs products that enhance access to privacy. Carpenter discusses his work with Stealth Wear, the first line of clothing intended to protect the wearer from drone surveillance.  

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Harvey notes that he was attracted to the inherent contrast between fashion, which is intended to express a person's uniqueness, and surveillance, which is designed to fit people into categories and patterns. As tools like drones and thermal imaging become less expensive and more widespread, he saw a need for new technologies, including fashion, that could allow people to protect their privacy and control what information people could obtain about them. With scientists reportedly making progress in the creation of invisibility cloaks, becoming completely unseen might be the ultimate fashion statement for the future.

Future Tense is a partnership of SlateNew America, and Arizona State University.

Timothy Reuter is co-creator of Drone U and the founder of the D.C. Area Drone User Group. He also works on issues of international development.

Nabiha Syed is a media lawyer in New York and a visiting fellow at the Yale Law School Information Society Project.  She is the co-founder of DroneU.