ZPi | How To Disappear Completely (As Seen On TV!)
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Lyle Zapato

How To Disappear Completely (As Seen On TV!)

Lyle Zapato | 2004-06-01.2900 LMT | Technology | Fashion | General Paranoia

In public places, cameras watch our every move. They record where we go, what we do, and who we meet -- even what personal hygiene products we buy. While ostensibly for our security, these cameras are in fact being used by shadowy forces to monitor our lives and learn our secrets to later use against us. Is there a way for the conscientious paranoid to avoid the unblinking gaze of the modern panopticon? Indeed, there is.

Television meteorologists and digital effects technicians use a technology called chromakey -- also often called "blue screen" -- to aid in compositing different elements into a scene. The most common use of this technology involves having a subject stand in front of a usually blue or green screen that is then replaced electronically with some background image, such as a weather map or CGI alien cityscape. Although technicians try to avoid it, chromakey can also affect a foreground subject; for instance, a bright blue tie will result in the illusion of a gaping hole in a weatherman's chest.

While this downplayed side-effect of chromakey technology may be undesirable to those trying to project the image of weathermen as solid purveyors of truth, it can be used to the paranoid's advantage: by wearing a costume made entirely of chromakey screen material, a paranoid can become invisible to electronic surveillance cameras.

Here at ZPi Laboratories, we are working on such electrooptical camouflage in the form of a hooded unitard made of bright blue or green colored spandex, which I call the Chromatard. I believe that this outfit -- which is form-fitting to help the wearer avoid unnecessary, camera-detectable interaction with the environment -- will become as popular with the paranoid community as the AFDB has become. Unfortunately, it is currently unusable outside of laboratory conditions since its bright color will attract the unwanted attention of any enemy agent not hidden behind an electronic camera. However, this should be less of a problem in the future when nearly all forms of surveillance will be mediated by electronic visualizing devices -- either "security" cameras or the eyes of robots. This future will belong to the Chromatarded paranoid.

End of post.