November 15, 2003
When Gadgets Get Out of Hand...
Admittedly, this post has absolutely nothing to do with legal technology. As you can tell from my prior entries, I love gadgets as much as the next person (probably more), but this one just seems to cross the line in my book. Just when I thought cell phone camera voyeurism was bad enough, Gizmodo recently posted the X-Reflect Goggles, which claim to have some X-Ray-like capabilities, most notably the advertised ability to see through layers of clothing. An "X" rating could be appropriate, if the claims are to be believed and this isn't just a high-tech scam.
Now I suppose some enterprising person could make the argument this would make a good security monitoring device and even has military applications (consider airport monitoring, to see who's smuggling contraband, weapons, etc. -- but we'd also have greatly distracted security guards to boot). And in all good fun, as a child I remember those notorious comic book ads for the X-Ray glasses that were little more than a gimmick. I even enjoyed the 1963 cult flick, "X! The Man with X-Ray Eyes" with Ray Milland, and of course that Dockers Mobile Pants commercial, which was pretty humorous. So I'm definitely not without a sense of humor or whimsy on the subject, and have to admit I'm intrigued by the technology behind this device.
But Holy X-Ray Batman! This one even includes a video jack so the voyeur can make movies, and the unsuspecting victims could turn up on one of those Internet or late night video offers. Maybe it's just my conservative Midwestern upbringing and the privacy advocate in me, but if this is the real deal, I'm thankful it's priced at a whopping $2,400 a pair. Devices like this raise the ethical question, "Just because we can do it, should we?" Can we just get back to developing the ultimate smartphone (without the X-Rays)?
Topic(s): Mobile Tech & Gadgets
Posted by Jeff Beard