Pure competitiveness seems to be behind this invention. Good old human “screw you” and the desire to beat someone at their own game.
And in fact, something other than pure utility seems at play with the surveillance spaulder, since it was created by an artist, James Bridle — the slightly ridiculous shoulder piece seems partially meant to be a comical reminder of the increasingly spy-heavy world in which we live.
The spaulder looks a bit like a shoulder pad for the outside of your garment. It uses infrared-sensing technology to detect surveillance cameras as they peek at you from their perches on buildings and stanchions. And then: it gives you a tiny electric jolt on the shoulder to alert you. Yes, that makes you the guy on the film who’s wearing the thing that means he’s paranoid about cameras, but that’s not a crime. Yet. I’m considering getting one to make a camera map and start giving tours of surveillance cameras in my city. Wave, everyone!