Spy windows?

    No technology is neutral, and vendors are only ever going to tout the positive qualities. Take this example: it’s a way to create a camera out of any window. Huge benefits, as the article says, but also some rather large (and dystopian) downsides.

    The image depicts a futuristic glass door on the front of a modern corporate building, reflecting a cityscape with skyscrapers under a sky with clouds. The glass features a holographic facial recognition system with a green circle and lock icon surrounding the reflection of a woman's face with short hair and glasses, indicating access has been granted.

    Zeiss is bringing its remarkable Holocam technology to CES 2024, which can turn any glass screen into a camera. This means that everything from the window in your car to the screen on your laptop to the glass on your front door can now possess an invisible image sensor.

    […]

    The Holocam technology “uses holographic in-coupling, light guiding and de-coupling elements to redirect the incoming light of a transparent medium to a hidden image sensor.”

    […]

    Using an entire pane of glass as a camera lens also opens some fascinating optical possibilities. Some of Zeiss' bullet points include “large aperture invisible camera” and “individual adjustment of orientation and size of the field of views.” Which makes me wonder, what is the maximum aperture and focal range of a camera like this?

    Of course, there’s a darker potential for such technology. Given the current fear around hidden cameras in Airbnbs, the idea of every single window (or even shower door) in a rental property being able to spy on you is a little disconcerting.

    Source: This holographic camera turns any window into an invisible camera | Digital Camera World

    Portals to another world (or town)

    I love this idea. I can think of many ways it could go wrong, but that’s not the point. There’s also lots of ways it could be awesome.

    Vilnius, Lithuania, has installed a “portal” that allows residents to make contact in real time with the inhabitants of Lublin, Poland. Each city hosts a large circular screen and cameras by which residents can interact in real time via the Internet.
    Source: Neighbors - Futility Closet