Sunday, January 6, 2013

"Satelliting"... Another Reason You're Naked... Even if you don't know it.

We have examined the issue of nudist privacy in a day and age of things like Google Glass (cameras and computers built into a pair ordinary-looking eyeglasses), Instagram, and credit reporting companies that snoop into your Facebook friends and habits.

Here's one more reason why a picture of your naked tush is likely to end up on the Internet someday whether you plan it or not: the magical refocusing camera.  Mashable has been carrying a lot of stories about cameras with the technology to capture millions of data points (either by having lens and software designed to capture those points from slightly different angles of light waves or by simply storing a whopping 41megapixels or more of data in a single image).

We know, we know, it doesn't seem remarkable on first glance... high resolution cameras have been around for years.  The difference here is that the new cameras (including those on cell phones like the Nokia 880) allow a single picture or videos to be taken, but then to focus on any area of that picture or video with incredibly sharp resolution after it has been snapped.

Remember the 8mm film recorded by Abraham Zapruder of the Kennedy assassination that infamous day in Dallas?  Now imagine if any place the camera had panned across during the filming could be zoomed in and brought into focus as if it had been zoomed in on by Zapruder himself.  Imagine being able to see the characteristics of each and every face in the crowd, on the grassy knoll... even to the point of reading each and every license plate in the motorcade.  Or looking into the windows of the schoolbook depository building for Lee Harvey Oswald.

It sounds like science fiction, but it is reality.  Just view the sample pictures taken by a Nokia 880 camera phone, or with a Lytro camera that allows you to change focus after the fact.

What does it mean for nudists?  Well, imagine lounging in your birthday suit while someone snaps a picture of your whole neighborhood from atop a 12 story building several blocks away.  The neighborhood-at-a-glance may also become your bare butt at a glance if the user zooms and zooms onto your street, then your yard, then your heiney.

We at the Bare Platypus wish to enter our nomination for the name of this phenomenon: "satelliting."  Satelliting works as if you could zoom into the windows of houses using Google Earth. 

Imagine that the beach photographer is happily taking pictures of the seagulls, but knows the woman showing cleavage in the very, very distant background may be brought clearly into focus with a few mouse clicks long after the snapshot of the sea gulls is taken. 

The Bare Platypus doesn't have any photography onsite (we do have a few illustrations).  But imagine a day when there is no way to get a photo release from everyone in an image because there are people at a great distance away from the photographer who the photographer didn't even see.  People who may easily be seen once post-capture focusing begins.

As the number of megapixels in ordinary cell phones continues to grow, and with the advancement of cameras with after-the-fact focusing, the Platypus predicts a day when most people will realize that there is no privacy on any beach.  Maybe not in any backyard either if folks snapping pictures from a jet airplane can one day zoom in to see from 12 miles away what you can now see from 12 blocks away. 

Maybe then we'll realize we're all naked, shrug, and deal with it.

Get the picture?