Shoeveillance, 2005

enjoying watching carefully

Shoeveillance is a surveillance system that tracks pedestrian traffic in public buildings, prevents data misuse and allows for data pleasure. A camera is installed in a door frame a few inches above ground with a narrow angle lens such that nothing above knee height is visible to it. An algorithm parses the image data for objects that resemble feet and shoes only. From the goings and comings of shoes, the system tallies pedestrian traffic. As opposed to collecting data where people are loaf to share it, shoeveillance takes it from the culture of shoe wear and its public parading. It encourages us to enjoy our vanities and prevents this pleasure from being misused for nefarious ends.

In the same way buildings are designed for particular purposes, technologies can be designed for special needs and wishes. In the future I imagine a similar richness in AI typologies as Architecture has in buildings. When invasive technologies become part of our lived fabric they must be tamed and disciplined.

Thanks to Omar Khan.