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`Safety net'

Now suppose that instead of just two people, we have a community (network) of individuals wearing the apparatus. This could either be a homogeneous community (all wearing the same form of the apparatus) or a heterogeneous community (Fig 5) wearing different variations of the apparatus.



: A network of individuals, three with WearCams --- author at left with original CRT-based WearCam, fourth and fifth (with cellular antenna which has been cut shorter to operate in an Amateur Radio band) from left wearing newer LCD-based WearCams recently built by author.

In some sense people might pay attention mostly to their immediate surroundings, but may, at times, get an image from someone who thinks there might be danger. This fear of danger might be triggered by a `maybe I'm in distress' button pressed by the wearer, or automatically (e.g. by a heart rate monitor and activity meter such as a pedometer, where the heart rate divided by the physical activity gives a `non--athletic--arousal' index). A community of individuals networked in this way would look out for each others' safety in the form of a `neighbourhood watch'. This `safety net' could be used for a `virtual safewalk': a participant, about to walk home or enter an underground parking garage late at night, sees `eye-to-eye' with one or more people (perhaps in a different time zone, say somewhere in the world where it is morning, so the virtual escort has fresh alert eyes).

Steve Mann
Wed Feb 14 01:19:59 EST 1996