Wearable Surveillance Disrupted? (Memoto)

By John Honovich, Published Oct 29, 2012, 08:00pm EDT

A Swedish manufacturer has taken aim at revolutionizing wearable cameras that could disrupt personal surveillance. They are getting huge tech coverage and skyrocketing sales. And no, it's not Axis.

In this note, we review the company, examine the product and its potential impact on privacy and the surveillance industry, especially for security guards.

Overview

The company, Memoto [link no longer available], is planning to launch a tiny wearable camera in 2013 and has generated over $300,000 in sales in just a few days. The product is intended for 'lifelogging' - recording one's day and activities. Here's their overview video:

While 'lifelogging' has been happening for years, this product is pushing it into the mass market, offering a tiny, simple solution that requires no start, stopping nor even thought by the wearer.

The device costs $279, providing a 5MP camera, integrated GPS (for tracking position of pictures), storage for 4000 images and battery power for 2 days of use. By default, it takes an image every 30 seconds though options for adjusting the image rate will be included.

Potential Impact

Clearly, the product is being marketed to hipsters as an entertainment device. However, it definitely has surveillance potential.

Wearable cameras are a hot topic for law enforcement and security guards as they provide evidence against false complaints. However, those cameras are complex and expensive. It would be straightforward for Memoto, or rivals, to optimize this for security purposes. Guards or officers could clip this on, forget about it and have a record of any problems or issues throughout the day.

The overall trend may be bad for privacy but it could be a powerful force for wearable surveillance of security personnel.

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