www.Justodians.org/ Inventions/ Eradicating Evil

Cloud of Witnesses
Camera Phone Technology Prevents Malevolent Behavior.
With the developement of an ear mounted Bluetooth Camera and
a mobile phone app to post the video content to YouTube in real time
we can start a chain reaction changing conditions such that cooperation
and respect are the Nash equilibrium wherever mobile phones are used.

In general, evil doers only perpetrate evil when they feel unobserved by those who have the power to intervene. But we are now standing at a unique place in history where camera phone technology has facilitated the emergence of a cloud of witnesses with no central control and no single point of view. Just go to www.YouTube.com and search on "crime", or "police violence" or "child abuse". People are capturing video of these events on their camera phones and abusers are getting caught. But more importantly, this is causing millions of other people to think more carefully about how they behave. How can we even measure this benefit? How can we count all the injuries that will never happen because people are thinking twice before acting in greed or hatred?

Right now the cloud of witnesses is just a thin vapor. But with the addition of one accessory and one software application to our camera phones, we will see how the ability to effortlessly make movies of our day to day dealings will ignite an explosion of kindness. My plan is to write a program for the camera phone that takes continuous audiovisual input from a small wearable web camera (perhaps eyeglass mounted as seen here http://www.vio-pov.com/ ) and record say 30 seconds of audiovisual content to the phone's memory. Any content older then say 30 seconds is continuously released from the memory buffer to make room for new content. But upon seeing something significant for example a crime or the police using excessive force, you can press a button and stream the contents of the memory buffer to your YouTube account for permanent storage and immediate live viewing with worldwide public access. The idea has two advantages: 1. The camera is always at the ready and recording but no memory or air time is being used until something unexpected but significant has been observed. This first advantage is offered by the device shown at the website mentioned above. But that device is not a telephone so how many people are really going to purchase and wear this dedicated device all the time? Now consider if the cell phone you carry anyway were augmented with this capability. Clearly many more people would make audiovisual records of the events they observe in their day to day dealings. The second advantage is as follows; Even if your phone is taken, the footage showing a crime or excessive use of force is safely stored on the Internet and is immediately available to the public and to law enforcement. While some camera phones can post video to the Internet, no one is going to tape a phone to their forehead in hopes of catching an unexpected moment. Most people on the other hand, have accepted the Bluetooth headset and millions of people happily put them on their heads everyday. So as silly as it might seem, it follows that humanity is not going to enjoy the deterrent against crime and other malevolent behaviors that head worn cameras will provide until someone brings a small, stylish, low cost, head mounted Bluetooth enabled camera to the market.

Now who is going to molest you if you are wearing this camera? The answer is "Only people who don't know what it is". But as this system comes into wide use, people will come to understand the deterrent and will follow the incentive to more humane behavior.

It's easy to see how fire chiefs and police captains will use this unique combination of the head-mounted camera and the smart-phone to view, in real time, what's happening in the field. And it's easy to understand that this new capability will generate phone and camera sales. But there are many other applications for this system. For instance mechanics would have a record of how something was taken apart or a cashier would have proof that correct change was made and that proper respect was given to the customer. Students would never fail to get notes off the blackboard before the teacher erases them. I could go on but the point is that this system will benefit a lot of people and that translates into more people using it. And as more people use it more people will know that their actions are likely to be recorded and published on the internet for the entire planet to review. This is sure to make everyone think twice before harming another person and this is how we can all but eradicate violence, malevolent behavior and evil doing where ever cell phone networks exist.

How The Idea Was Conceived and Where We Stand In Development
One time I was on the street talking to my son on my cell phone when these two guys pulled over in front of me and got out of their cars and started yelling at each other. I think one must have cut off the other at an intersection. It looked like it was going to come to blows and I was concerned for the safety of both men so I walked over with my cell phone and told the men that I was recording everything they were doing. I said that the first guy who throws a punch is going to jail and is also going to lose his property in a law suit. As expected both men got back in their cars and drove off without incident. As a side note, my cell phone at the time did not have a built in camera but the men didn't know that. The important thing is that they changed their behavior for the better when they thought they were being recorded and this got me to thinking that if each man had a camera on them before they ever had contact with each other, then the incident would never have escalated past a honk of the horn or a course word yelled out the window. In fact, I thought, perhaps there never would have been any disagreement at all because both men would have been more careful to observe traffic laws and drive respectfully under the consideration that any other driver could take his video footage to the police and file a complaint. Now prior to this incident I had been advocating for legislation that mandates the audio recordings for all public trials be posted on the Internet. My reason for promoting this was because I had become aware that almost no public hearings are ever actually heard by the public and as a result, judges behave anyway they feel like in their courtrooms and they make decisions based on personal preference rather than on consideration of the law. My hope in advancing this legislation was not to catch judges doing something wrong, but rather getting them to think more carefully about their responsibility to administrate the law and to be more respectful of the public who employs them. In any case, as a result of my work with the courts, it was natural that the incident with the two men would create an ah ha moment for me where I could imagine how much better people would treat each other if everyone was recording their own lives. So I started doing research on the idea which lead me to a guy named Steve Mann a tenured professor at the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering at the University of Toronto. Steve is credited with being the first human cyborg. For the last 25 years or so Steve has been refining techniques for broadcasting his life in real-time on the Internet. I contacted Steve and in a series of emails presented my ideas and questioned him about everything I could think of on the subject. Steve was very patient with me and answered all my questions and pointed me to webpages that addressed the social issues concerning the rights and benefits of citizens to post live video on the Internet. He also suggested that I pick up a copy of his book called Inteligent Image Processing. It turns out that all the questions I had previously asked and so many others that I hadn't even thought of were answered in his book. All the questions except one: "Where can I purchase a phone with a small integrated head mounted camera that can post video in real time to the Internet." Boiled down, Steve's answer was I am working on something that does that and so much more, but it's not ready yet. It turns out that Steve has built something called EyeTap. EyeTap uses the eye itself as a camera to collect video content for posting onto the Internet. But EyeTap also displays video output from a computer directly onto the eye taking the place of a video monitor. The benifits of this invention are that you never have to wonder if your head mounted camera is focused on the right spot or taking good video because it sees exactly what your eye sees. EyeTap also raises computer usability and portability to a whole new level by getting rid of the computer monitor and overlaying computer video output right over the top of your own visual reality. This invention really has the ability to combine man and computer and once this device is available on the market, all of us that have it will be more than human. But right now working versions of EyeTap are more cumbersome than the average person is willing to put up with. Steve understands this and so as of this writing, if you want an EyeTap, you have to build it yourself and deal with it's bulk. My focus is different than Steve's. I am looking to interface a very small but noticeable head worn camera (perhaps mounted on the user's eyeglasses) with a mobile phone. Small because I want people to wear it and noticeable because I want people to understand that the wearer can share perfect recall of his experiences with everyone else on the planet. Steve is trying to do this too, but he is also trying to do so much more and his solution just isn't going to be ready for a while. In the mean time, people are harming each other more than they need to and I want them to stop it as soon as possible. So I started looking at what others were doing. I was still hoping at the time that I could buy what I was looking for. The closest thing I could find was this guy named Justin that started a website where he broadcasts live video content of his day to day existence on the Internet. In order to do this, Justin mounts a webcam onto his hat which is connected to a laptop computer which he carries around in his backpack. The laptop accesses WiFi hotspots around the city where he lives and this is how he is able to "lifecast" or "cyborglog" to the Internet. Justin is not doing anything technically that Steve wasn't doing years before, but he was making a show of it and he was making some money on the show. Still none of this was what I was looking for. I was trying to find a system that was always recording like Justin's but that wouldn't go live or post to the Internet unless the user decided that what he or she had just witnessed or was still witnessing was worth sharing. Also, I was looking for a much smaller system that everyone had already purchased and needed to carry with them anyway. The typical camera phone seemed to be the solution. They're very small. Everybody has one and carries it everywhere. And all of them are capable of posting video directly to YouTube. The newer camera phones even support video conferencing with other phones which means they are able to broadcast live video. It seemed to me that all the pieces where in place to create a system that could record all your experiences and all your interactions and immediately store those recordings in a safe place while at the same time immediately share them with everyone that needs to see them. In other words, I felt that it should now be possible to provide everyone with a reliable witness that has perfect recall. My goal was to find a way to get this system built and distributed to the public as quickly as possible because I felt that everything from insults to murders would be reduced by it. I am an experienced software developer, although I am new to programming cell phones, so I wrote to the people at www.Justin.tv and asked them if we could team up to do this. They never wrote back and as of this writing have not developed this on there own. In any case sensing a dead end, I continued to try and reach out to companies that I though would stand to benefit by interfacing a small head worn webcam with a camera phone. I found a great headworn camera produced by a company called V.I.O. The camera is designed for use with a small belt worn recording device which is about the size of a camera phone. V.I.O.'s recorder does constantly record to a buffer where the oldest content is continuously dumped to make room for the new. But upon seeing something interesting, the user can press a button and direct the buffer contents to permanent memory while continuing to record. A typical camera phone is nothing more than a small rather well connected computer and is capable of doing exactly the same thing. All that is needed is software application to provide that functionality and a the proper wiring so that V.I.O.'s camera will interface with the USB port on the phone. The problem was that V.I.O. had placed firmware on the camera that prevented its use with anything but their recording device. So I wrote to V.I.O and explained why I thought they should consider unlocking the firmware on the camera and wiring it for use with a camera phone. I also asked if they would consider allowing me to work with them in writing a Java program that would allow any mobile phone to substitute as their digital belt worn recording device. Their response was polite. They declined to use the idea but did say they might consider it in the future. As of this writing V.I.O. does not offer a head mounted camera that interfaces with a mobile phone. So with a strong belief that blending a small head worn camera with the mobile phone would extend lives and make them better, I sought the help of Nokia. Nokia was hosting a contest called Mobile Rules where developers would submit ideas and some of the ideas would be selected to received help from Nokia for development. I was not looking for money from Nokia, only tech support, books, software and a couple of phones to borrow. My idea was not selected and so I was unable to get help from Nokia to produce the idea. So again at a dead end, I contacted Motorola to see if they would give me the technical support required to interface a webcam with one of their mobile phones. Specifically, I was looking for the pin out configuration of the USB ports on their phones and I was looking for instructions on how to write drivers so that their phones could access the data produced by the webcam. I wrote for them what I thought was a compelling letter consisting of the information presented on this webpage. Unfortunately, I was unable to get them to understand how valuable this could be for society or how profitable this could be for them. In their response they told me that what I suggested could not be done on their phones. I knew this simply wasn't true but I didn't press the issue with them any further. At this point I had stopped believing that I could get anybody to understand why this project was so worth doing and I determined that if I wanted to get this done I would have to do it myself. So without the need to be loyal to any manufacturers or service providers, I had complete freedom to decide for myself what phone and camera I would use and what computer language to work with. After some research I discovered that my own service provider (AT&T) was offering a new phone manufactured by HTC called the Tilt. This phone supports a service called Video Share which allows the user to send live video to another subscriber while conducting a conversation on the phone. So all I would need to do is find a way to divert the video feed to YouTube or some other server on the Internet. I was sure this would be possible because if I had to, I knew I could simply use another phone connected to my computer to receive the video content where it could then be streamed up to the Internet. Also the Tilt uses the Windows Mobile 6 operating system which is not to different from the Windows operating system that I have written applications for in the past. So now I am pretty sure I can write a working application without the need for tutoring, tech support, or expensive learning materials. Also, I am pretty sure a lite version of Microsoft's Visual Studio is freely available for download. This is a suite of programming languages and tools used for writing applications for mobile phones. So as soon as I finish writing this webpage I am going to dig in and start programming the mobile phone application I described above along with the drivers necessary to interface my HTC Tilt phone with a small head worn webcam. I am going to write the application in Java so it should will work with practically every mobile phone in existence. Many drivers will be needed however to allow different types of mobile phones to access a webcam via the USB port or through a Bluetooth or WiFi Connection. Everything I produce will be posted on this webpage and will be available for free download. So keep watching this webpage for progress.

Why Witness Cloud Formation is Inevitable
There are many reasons that a person might want a record of significant moments. I for one, am tired of asking for directions and then not remembering more than the first or second instruction. But no matter what the reason, once people start demonstrating perfect recall, other people who see how useful this is will want to do it too. Initiation of this system will set off a chain reaction of users creating more users until the entire civilized world has been completely saturated with people recording notable events in their lives. And with all this total recall around, people will think more carefully about how they treat each other. The end result will be a more humane humanity. Right now anyone can tape a camera phone to their hat and enjoy the power of perfect recall. But the only thing they are going to catch on film is people laughing at them. But as the cost and size of the camera goes down and as the package becomes more stylish, there will come a point where everyone will want one. This is exactly what happened with the wrist watch, the digital camera, the GPS, the laptop computer, the cell phone and the Bluetooth headset. So if we want make the world a better and safer place or if we just want to make a baziliion dollars, all we need to do is find a way to interface a small, inexpensive rather stylish head mounted camera to a mobile phone. As of this writing, I know of no small stylish head worn camera that is always at the ready and recording, and which can publish to the Internet in real time. If we can make this available, I expect a huge social impact. This is a killer application that will save lives.

How You Can Get Involved
Feel free to use any ideas found on this page. I am not looking for any compensation or any credit. In fact, there is nothing on this page that Steve Mann hasn't thought of and published years before me. I just want a safer better world to live in. If you would like to work with me or feel you have something to contribute to this project, then please feel free to contact me.
Thank you,
John Shearing


Hebrews 12:1
Therefore, since we have so great a cloud of witnesses surrounding us, let us also lay aside every encumbrance and the sin which so easily entangles us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us