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Stealth Wear: The latest in anti-surveillance clothing

Posting in Design

Drones and facial-recognition technology are advancing. As privacy worries deepen, a range of clothing has been designed in the name of countersurveillance.

"Stealth Wear," designed by artist and design professor Adam Harvey, may seem the modern equivalent of a tin hat for some -- or it may be viewed as a response to an environment filled with surveillance drones, wearable tech, mobile cameras and government tracking.

Harvey acknowledges that the concept of "stealth wear" seems to be plucked straight from a science fiction novel, but says there is a "growing need" for products that can protect your privacy.

In London, Harvey recently displayed his anti-surveillance designs. His work includes hooded sweatshirts and cloaks -- made from reflective fabric -- that reduce thermal footprints which could hinder aerial surveillance vehicles that use heat-imaging technology to track.

Harvey is not the only one working on anti-surveillance garments. The National Institute of Informatics in Japan has developed a visor which uses light sources bordering on infrared to stop facial-recognition software from registering your features and identifying you in photographs.

Harvey's designs are still concepts, but he believes that they will increase awareness and "empower you to control your identity a little more."

No matter if the clothing ever reaches our stores, the designs do represent today's worries over surveillance and privacy invasion.

Read More: New York Times

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— By on June 30, 2013, 9:53 PM PST

Charlie Osborne

Contributing Editor

Charlie Osborne is a freelance journalist and photographer based in London. In addition to SmartPlanet, she also writes for business technology website ZDNet and consumer technology site CNET. She holds a degree in medical anthropology from the University of Kent. Follow her on Twitter. Disclosure