Monday, September 21, 2009

Anti-Photo Shield

Russian Billionaire Installs Anti-Photo Shield on Giant Yacht [Wired]
Roman Abramovich zaps snappers with laser shield [Times]
Celebrity Photographer ‘Laser Shield’ - Is It Legal? [Amateur Photographer]

Sounds good, not too sure how well it will work in practice.

What I did find that works was ultra high powered IR LED's.
Cameras either white out, or AGC kicks in and your face is blacked out.

Another interesting this is people have to avert there eyes from looking directly at you, but can not see IR and don't become consciously aware that they are avoiding looking at you.

Staring directly at one of these high power IR sources is like looking in to the sun, your eyes bug out and you eventually are force to look away. I suppose you cold go blind if you insist on staring. I'd be these would work fantastic on a ship.

As for the article, it mentions.
Lasers sweep the surroundings and when they detect a CCD, they fire a bolt of light right at the camera to obliterate any photograph.

Infrared lasers detect the electronic light sensors in nearby cameras, known as charge-coupled devices. When the system detects such a device, it fires a focused beam of light at the camera, disrupting its ability to record a digital image.
The beams can also be activated manually by security guards if they spot a photographer loitering.

Well I don't see how there is any way to detect a CCD or these days CMOS image sensors. I guess there could be a bit of a "red eye" effect, but then it would also detect when humans looks as well.

And secondly firing a laser while the camera's shutter is not open will do nothing to the film or in the case of a digital image the flash. But if the camera operator was using a reflex lens, you'd probably blow the the retina out of the back of his eye leaving them permanently blind.

In addition lasers only operate on a few select frequencies and there are already some excellent interference filters that can block just those narrow bands, so if you know what laser is being used, just place a $500 filter over the camera for that filter and you'd be able to keep snapping away completely uneffected.

UPDATE: I learned about another article that made some good points. 9/22/2009
How to ZAP a Camera: Using Lasers to Temporarily Neutralize Camera Sensors by Michael Naimar
A Google search of "anti paparazzi device" yielded two hits, both about near-identical devices called "Eagle Eye" and "Backflash" (and both unfindable as actual products). These devices apparently couple a light sensor to a flash unit: when a flash of light is detected, the devices instantaneously flash back. They're both small, made to be worn, and claim to obscure a portion of the photographic image near them whenever a flash is used (ostensibly as protection against intruding photographers). If these devices work, they obviously would only work for still, flash photography.
Antisensor lasers are capable of scanning a region looking for "glints" of reflected light coming from lenses aimed at them, then switching to a high energy laser capable of overloading or destroying the sensor (or whatever) behind the lens. The U.S. developed such a system called the Stingray and deployed two tank-based prototypes in Saudi Arabia during the Gulf War (they allegedly were not used). The Stingray's range of operation is claimed to be several kilometers. It's not clear if (or how) the Stingray could discriminate between lenses and eyeballs, or between sensors behind a lens and human eyeballs behind a lens.
 Maybe I was wrong I don't think you can destroy one, but I can see how a little image processing could detect a telephoto lens from an eyeball then shine a low power laser ~5mw at that camera and without any sort of filtering would ruin any photographs that they try to take, basically washing out the image with bright red or green, even blue as desired. But anything that could damage the roll of film or camera would also injure the photographer. 

If anyone need help defeating this give me drop me a line.

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