2 / 8 SECURITY SHOW @ TOKYO BIG SIGHT
A trade-show for folks in the security biz.
My first thought: the ultimate security show is a show WHERE NO ONE GETS IN.
my second: What if the "registration" part (above) is like an endless gauntlet of different companies scanning, prodding, badgering, and humiliating people trying to get in? Clearly that is how it will go down. And when you DO finally get to the end of the registration, the show’s over. The "entrance" leads directly to the parking lot in back. That’s probably how all the different companies demonstrate their security screening. And the clients LOVE IT. All kid-at-disneyland style: "I wanna go again!! can we go again???"
I am picturing this also: security-show-customers all getting strip-searched and having all their stuff confiscated, and being really stoked about it: "These guys are GREAT!! We gotta tell the boss!"
and then the booth guy is like "Phone calls are forbidden! Plus your phone is a bomb! You’re going in the back room!!!"
"Fuck yeah! You guys are on point! Gimme more!!!"
Leading to this conversation:
"How was the booth at Company XYZ?"
"Not so hot. They let me in with a revolver, plus they didn’t have any dick attitude whatsoever."
"Pssh. How do they think they are going to compete?"
Anyway. In fact, no one was a dick to customers. They were surveiling the hell out of each other, though. You could go to Company X’s booth and get a clear view of Company Y’s and W’s wares on the monitor: "Hey, dude! Zoom in, will ya? It looks like the next booth has a way cheaper camera with full vertical rotation." "Looking at the competition is forbidden! To the back room with you!"
First thing you see when you walk in, is a black dude holding a briefcase full of gold bars, surrounded by the Sexy Costume Police, who are trying to either protect / arrest / seduce him (it’s kind of unclear, although many businessmen were scrutinizing the situation, no doubt to assess the threat level of the miniskirts).
And below, the same scene, viewed from the competition’s spy camera:
Before getting to the more exotic spy stuff, let’s show the basic setup that most people were selling:
On top, the camera. Then the TV display. Bottom left: the "memory box" where all the video data is stored, and to the right: the controller. The controller is what moves the cameras around, and it also functions as a rudimentary video editor for playing back footage and/or messing with it. On top of all that, you need to buy hella cables and of course software that is compatible with everything. Jesus.
For more information, try the TOA corporation’s website – they have English up in there.
below, a slightly more advanced display interface:
(the rows of sparkley things are flashlights that illuminate what the camera is looking at. They can be infrared, so you don’t even know they are on!)
below, a GIANT camera, used for surveiling from great distances:
The brochure says this is used from the top of a skyscraper or like on a dam or stadium.
Below, small cameras from MOswell. (English slogan: " We are manufacturer of industrial imaging,industrial built-in board,and security camera.")
These are actually smaller in person than in the photo.
Then this guy: the Camera Hat. They also had cameras mounted in flashlights for security guards on night patrol. Pretty much anything you can imagine had a camera in it. Probably my fuckin’ laminated access badge had a chip in it to monitor my movements. Jesus, i should throw that thing out already.
Helmet company site here: TANIZAWA
Sato Parts Company, Inc.: It’s small.
Even better: This place:
For the 2 or 3 people not familiar with Japanese porn: Respect On Demand’s name is a deliberate parody of Japan’s biggest porn company: Soft On Demand. Compare:
I have no idea how they decided that this was a good idea. I asked them why they chose the name and they played dumb.
but considering the amount of S.O.D. movies where they use a hidden camera to shoot ladies taking a dook-dook, maybe R.O.D. is a business investment!
But that isn’t even the best Engrish available at the Security show:
Suprisingly, this wasn’t Japanese English. the company is German. according to their webpage (can you guess the URL?), their tagline is: SICK IS THERE – MORE OFTEN THAN YOU REALIZE.
There is no part of that that i don’t like.
even better, they have an online store where you can buy shirts, aprons, shoes with their logo on it.
Below, the eatery known as "restaurant solution"
It turns out that it is a demo of a new touch-sensitive menu using 3D technology so when you point to the pie, it looks like your finger is physically going into some pie. And yes, that is a maid on the right, demonstrating the technology with one hand while hiding her underpants with the other hand. They can invent 3D menus, but they can’t invent fuckin’ culottes?? The hell, people!!
Moving along, besides security cameras, the other main thing was BIOMETRICS.
This was a demo of a system called IRIS. The computer up top contains the software. The silver thing in the center is the interface – you look in it and it measures the patterns on your iris (duh) and if you are on the "person with this iris is cleared for takeoff" list, the little black door (on the left) automatically opens.
Below, the 3D FACE READER, another biomorphic thing. There are 2 cameras in this unit- one on top of the display, and one on the bottom. They scan your face and combine the scans to create a 3d stereo image. The image is loaded into the database. Then when you go to work at the CIA or whatever, the machine scans your face against all the faces in the database and if you are positive, it lets you in.
website is here.
Below, a camera (top) which makes a 3d image using only one lens — by lasering you and measuring the differences in time of how long it takes the laser to bounce off of different parts of you. That is pretty insane. Can you imagine how not-a-lot-of-time it takes light to travel the 5 feet to my nose, and the difference between that and the time it takes to reach my forehead? Jesus.
Frankly the system didn’t work so well. The "3D" image was really flat, and most of what LOOKs like 3D information — shadows and highlights- is present in a regular picture.
Above, some crazy camera that can guess your age. They say they got a database of 70,000 Japanese face pictures from all age groups. The camera biometrically measures your face and compares it against the database. If you smile it takes years off, they say. The company, BTW, is OKAO (honorable face company). english site here.
The other main suprising thing at this convention was boxes. Like the green box around my face. The new software allows the camera to pick out and isolate the parts of the picture that are moving – whether they are faces in a crowd or cars on a street. I have no idea how this helps – but it proves that pattern recognition is not limited to biometrics. They had one traffic-safety system that not only could tell how many different vehicles were on the road, (pretty impressive given that, to the computer, the video data is just 1,000,000 different dots that change 30 times a second – it has no concept of cars), but it can also tell which is a motorbike and which is a bus.
END OF BIOMETRICS.
BELOW, anti-terror devices. This one i actually understand how it worked because the salesman was from Florida. Frankie. Anyway, the camera is a "milimeter wave" which measures temprature. Not sure how that is different from infrared. So the model on the screen below is hiding a liquid in a bag under her clothes but the system detects it becuase it is colder than her body. I asked Frankie, "But after a while don’t these objects tend to heat up?" And he said that after about 45 minutes, most smuggled items are the same temp. as the body and thus difficult for the system to detect . BUT items which are hidden MORE than 45 minutes tend to be EVEN HOTTER than the body, since they have been absorbing heat for so long. What makes his system better than the competition’s is that they are trading high-resolution for really precise temprature readings. This machine has an accuracy of one kelvin. They got a contract for English airports and also with U.S. Best Buy warehouses – to stop employees from lifting cell phones. There is a fader which lets you adjust the amount of temprature-difference it takes to set off the alarm, which helps cut down on false positives. This is a general system, meaning that it detects ANYTHING on your body, from wallets to drugs, plastic explosives, to bundles of cash in your pants. But it doesn’t tell the user specifically what that thing is . It could be a colostomy bag or a million in coke. Time for the back room.
The company is BRIJOT. Here is their site.
Below, the trash bin. In addition to the bins for cans, paper, and food, they had a WHOLE SEPARATE BIN for all the pamphlets that people throw out at these conventions. Kind of sad. Me, i keep so much shit i can barely fit it on the train. Like I can’t go to one of these cons without getting 20 pounds of crap. I got a bookshelf full of the shit at home. Want a catalog of prosthetic arms? maid robots? Vertical conveyorbelts? Boot sterilizers? Come on over.
Below, robots. These are not yet at the point where they can get all robocop on a bad guy, but they are useful for the same reason that sexy cops are useful: to get people to your booth.
The alsok robot, above, can go around and ask you for id, which you swipe against his breastplate. He also has fire extinguishers so that you can put out fires from the safety of your home office.
NEW TOPIC: CARDS. IC cards. (integrated circut cards) It is like computer money. Where instead of cash you have a card, which you can swipe against machines to pay for stuff. The SUICA card which is used by Japan Rail lines is an example of an IC card- instead of having to buy a new ticket every time you get on a train, you just walk through the ticket gate with your suica and the machine somehow detects your card and also deducts money from it, and collects information about your train movements that goes in a permanent record somewhere. Some IC cards work by billing your credit card company. Others are like Disneyland money – you pay cash money up front for a card that can be used to buy stuff from a certain company. Anyway, below are some sample card readers. These can be attached to anything – vending machines, food machines, prostitutes. In the future you’ll buy watermelons with your Blockbuster card, then rent a dvd using your Cocacola card, then stop by 7-11 and buy some Coke with your fuckin’ Ford card. And this is supposed to be less complicated than giving Ahmed a twenty?
The poster below explains an even more advanced development: PAYING FOR SHIT BY RUBBING YOUR CELL PHONE AGAINST IT.
Say you got a credit card – Visa for example. You also got a cell, and your cell company has a deal with Visa. You can download some software from the cell company which allows you to participate in the program. Once you installed the software, IC chips in your phone communicate by radio with IC-equipped vending machines. So when you rub your phone on a coke machine, a coke comes out and the machine bills your credit card company. This is the visatouch system, I guess. For more information, explanation one- japanese , explanation two – english
A rival to visatouch is the FELICIA system, which i didn’t take a picture of their booth – it’s a fuckin’ vending machine – but their wiki is easier to understand than the above reports.
I asked what if you lose your phone? Then you are ass-out, said the salesman. I said this system would never work in America, people would get mugged just for talking on cellphones – "That dude took his cell out to talk to his mom, let’s steal it, i bet He’s got $3000 on that thing!" Although, an America where people were physically afraid to use cellphones while waiting in line or in a cafe would be an improvement.
As a bonus, there was another convention the same day: retail. Mostly this was like new, high-tech cash registers and bar-code readers, but they did have THIS:
You point-click to select a dress, and then the computer uses biometrics to recognize your face, and then drops the dress down below the face so you can "model" it. I can see really fat women using this a lot. "Hey Cheryl, looka here! This dress makes me look like a size 4!!"
CAMOS – a company that makes fingerprint locks.
genetec’s website – in english. They have explanations of how their software can pick terrorist faces out of a crowd at a soccer game. also they sell a device that can read and comprehend the letters/numbers on a licence plate.
General Electric’s site is just as huge and baffling as you’d imagine. I could spend all day here.
The main product they were pushing at the Tokyo convention was something called STREETLAB MOBILE – a handheld laser. It shoots a laser at whatever item you find suspicious ("and it doesn’t destroy the sample, unlike the leading brand!" said the salesman). Everything from Lemmy to a Taco has its own distinct signature – based on the chemical makeup. As far as I can understand, the machine measures the reflection of the laser. and different substances reflect the laser at different frequencies, resulting in "spikes" on those frequencies. So the results of the laser scan are then compared to the database of over 10,000 items — explosives, drugs, exploding drugs — and the nearest 5 or so matches are displayed. For example, the readout might be like, "this is an 50% match for coke, and a 50% match for baking soda" and then you know you should arrest the perp on charges of smuggling some weak fuckin’ coke. The streetlab is also useful for investigating toxic waste spills. The buttons on it are specially designed so even if you are wearing a crazy HAZMAT suit you can still push all the buttons.
And here is the site fore KAMATANI, the company that rents all the rediculous costumes worn by the "campaign girls" – basically sci-fi hookers, but deniable.
the costume shop, of course.
Also overheard at the security show:
* mission impossible theme song
* the phrase "theft solutions"
* the phrase "why are their naked men on your security video?"
(actually the last one was me. and there WERE naked men. The saleslady said they hadn’t enough cameras in their booth to provide live feed for their 8-channel viewing software, so they had a movie on one of the channels. I think the movie was FULL MONTY. The company was from Quebec.)