The Parrot AR Drone – Technology versus privacy, the war just escalated

I saw a video recently about a totally kickass little gadget.

It’s a quadricopter (4-rotor) drone that carries a camera, and transmits images via wi-fi to your iPhone. Oh, and the same iPhone is the control device as well. The video is streamed live via wifi – and it integrates augmented reality in the vidstream as well.

What this gives you is a remote controlled device that can get out there, roam around, pick up info on what’s happening and give it to you live. All while you sit in the comfort of your home.

Seen Surrogates? This is one step closer. When you have a machine that can get out there and, as long as the battery lasts, move around, broadcast video, pick up object-associated info, live… it’s a step away from being able to interact with the real world (right now it just watches, and watches in far greater detail than reality – that’s what AR is all about, anyway-) the potential is awesome.

As a gadget, it’s instant geekgasm.

But also raises some serious issues about privacy. It’s ultimate surveillance. How comfortable are we when there’s 3-4 of these hovering around when we’re outside – and we know they’ve identified us, called up our tweets, our addresses, our social network profiles, likes and dislikes… and in the right (or wrong) hands, your emails, credit history, criminal record…

Not to mention the sheer privacy-destroying impact of augmented-reality cameras floating around, able to fly, and untraceable to source.

Read the more detailed writeup here –

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