Using IR LEDs To Hide In Plain Sight | Hackaday

Getting by without falling under the gaze of surveillance cameras doesn’t seem possible nowadays – from malls to street corners, it’s getting more common for organizations to use surveillance cameras to keep patrons in check. While the freedom of assembly is considered a basic human right in documents such as the US Condition and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, it is not a right that is respected everywhere in the world. Often times, governments enforcing order will identify individuals using image recognition programs, preventing them from assembling or demonstrating against their government.

Freedom Shield built by engineer [Nick Bild] is an attempt at breaking away from the status quo and giving people a choice on whether they want to be seen or not. The spectrum of radiation visible to humans maxes out around 740nm, allowing the IR waves to remain undetected by normal observers. 3d Glass Cube Laser Engraver

The project uses 940nm infrared (IR) LEDs embedded in clothes to overwhelm photo diodes in IR-sensitive cameras used for surveillance. Since the wavelength of the lights are not visible to humans, they don’t obstruct normal behavior, making it an ideal way to hide in plain sight. Of course, using SMD LEDs rather than the larger sizes would also help with making the lights even less visible to the naked eye.

The result doesn’t perfectly obscure your face from cameras, but for a proof-of-concept it’s certainly a example of how to avoid being tracked.

Well, I have to say something.

As much as this is true in theory, think about it just a bit more.

Given: (Other) people are walking around without this system and are showing their faces. YOU walking around with this huge array of IR LEDs blasting out IR light to obscure your picture from anyone looking at you through a camera, you are kind of painting a big target on yourself all the same.

So as much as this may work to stop you being identified from recordings, remember you can be seen a lot easier in a crowd if “they” want to find you. All “they” need to do is look for someone with a hat emitting IR light.

Kind of defeats the purpose of it in my opinion.

Kind of like running a Tor exit node.

IR won’t interfere with human sight, if a security sees someone blinding camera with IR light, they will have someone follow the person and watch closely. It would make things harder if the person with IR light had illegal intent like shoplifting or such.

Person who simply didn’t want to be photographed shouldn’t need to worry about security following the person.

It’s a good thing that nobody carries a camera around with them all the time which might also detect that light…. oh wait.

The “Real Life” view in the video was recorded with my cellphone. The ones we carry around have IR filters.

While not bright, I see many that pick up a glow of IR remotes etc while still having an IR filter.

The cones in human eye is sensitive to three overlapping regions:

That is emulated by placing three filters (Bayer-filter: BGGR/RGBG/GRGB/RGGB) which attenuate strongly over the exact same type of image sensing element. Nature, does not have any material with an almost vertical rolloff. There is no material with a steep rolloff that is 100% transparent to red (~625nm to ~740nm) and 100% opaque to the near infrared (~750nm to ~1400nm). Yes digital cameras do have have IR filters and they are good, but they are not perfect. Digital cameras can see what the human eye can not even with an IR filter, because the red cone in our eyes is actually most sensitive to yellow than red (see image in above link).

Nick I would love to talk to you!

simply awesome, woke up this morning with that very idea coursing thru my thought stream

If I want to stop my neighbors camera from seeing inside my kitchen window can I buy 800 looms LED infrared light place it in my kitchen window and leave it there at night and it will block them from seeing anything day or night how does this work

Easier to aim a laser pointer at it and just fry the CCD

Just aim a white high brightenes led to any digital camera AND. If It has auto brigth level It Will be blinded

There are led emitters that are strong enough that you could use only a few. It have to be strong to emit a huge glow. Hide it by mask it with jewelery or stuff People usally wear. I would worry more about the shoes.

But they won’t know what you look like. If you change your clothing after they couldn’t find you. Also this defeat facial recognition so the chances of you not being identified increase greatly. They might know something is going on but that’s it. I doubt the facial recognition sends an alarm every time it can’t properly record someone’s face

Yes, people are doing this, or should I say Builders ,Utilities, Arborist etc. Especially at night. do you want some photos?

Of course this doesn’t work under daylight conditions because the diodes aren’t strong enough, and with CCTV cameras that don’t rely on IR.

It’s the same thing as trying to fool speed cameras with a bunch of LEDs around your license plate. Yeah, no. The sunglasses you’re wearing do more to protect your privacy because the AI is dumb and easily tricked.

Detecting faces is actually very difficult.

Yes, the focal length of the lens can distort images and with a short focal length, things closer to the camera look larger. If only we had a way of storing the focal length of the lens in some sort of hidden data field in the image. We could call that….hmmmm…maybe “Exchangeable image file format”? And too bad we don’t have some sort of software that can adjust for such distortion. Maybe in 100 years, we’ll have something called “Shopphoto” that could have a menu like “Filter > Distort > Lens Correction > Grid > Remove Distortion.”

I realize such software is way beyond our wildest dreams at this time but maybe in 100+ years, who knows.

/sarcasm (aimed more at techxplore who probably totally misunderstood what the researcher was saying or only paid attention to part of it and not all of it.)

It’s very easy to take a photo that was done with a 100mm lens and adjust it so that it has the same fish-eye/distortion of a 10mm lens. You just need to know “what is the focal length and sensor size?” and “was either image possibly already edited for distortion?” If the answer to the second question is “probably” or “yes”, then it wouldn’t be so easy to adjust them but you can start with an assumption that they aren’t and then automatically remove/add distortion to one to make it look like the other and then see if there’s a match. If so, then a human could always verify.

It’s much easier to just use static backgrounds as if they were green screen. Cameras are a bit terrible when it comes to noise. You say, whatever doesn’t change, less than x threshold, count as background. Then you make the top twenty percent of the blobs that move faces. It’s not excellent but it’s pretty good. You don’t need high resolution or lots of processing power.

Y’all need those self censoring license plates that Ontario issued…. then recalled.

I need to get a set of those.

We need sunglasses with fake eyes stenciled on them and skin tone frames.

Gorilla glasses!

Actually, it will work on a number of CCTV cameras that don’t rely on IR. The Red & Blue sensors will still pick up IR & UV respectively if it’s from a powerful enough source. While these are centered on Red & Blue light, they’re still sensitive to other frequencies. Get a powerful enough source, and it’ll show up. An easy demonstration is to use your cell phone camera to look at them and see if they’re on or not.

As for daylight, that can be an issue but can be overcome with more powerful LEDs.

So how powerful are we talking for daytime interference? Please make recommendations. I don’t know brands or anything. Our neighbor just placed a big camera high on the trunk of their tree directed right on the backside of our house. There’s nothing blocking it. It’s safe to assume they can see directly into our three girls bedrooms upstairs as that is how high it’s placed on the tree. They did this yesterday after we blocked their smaller, lower cameras. I ordered one way mirror tint for the windows but that won’t stop them from peeping on us and our girls in the yard during the day.

We really want to direct something at that camera to interfere with its vision. Also, that camera oscillates.

Surely that must be illegal? It’s at least a breach of privacy, here in the U.K. people have been going to court because their neighbours property is visible from their video doorbell!

Get a blue ray inferred light out of it or a gun lazer point it right at the dam nosy neighbors lens 😉. They won’t be able to see 3 foot in diameter of there picture !!

I have an ahole neighbor who decided to point his cameras into our personal courtyard & our windows. When we asked him to change the angle, he lengthened the arm to get more coverage! I wish I had something like this for a larger coverage. I can’t stand there all the time point a laser at all his cameras!

Niki- after 3 years of dealing with a highly technically savvy stalker, my advice is to skip asking for it to be removed politely(they just hide it) and consider using window film, + drapes/blinds. Don’t give them anything to look at. Our CCTV is tampered with via drones using lasers…even the police become invisible one night. Our CCTV set up was 25K, so nothing is impenetrable, nothing.

It’s going to take little more than drapes and film they will look straight through your walls and you’ll never know it.

Find a source for Ultraviolet Lasers- the more powerful (Dangerous to the Eyes) the better. Mount one to point at the Camera and leave it On. Chances are it will Burn Out the Sensor of the Camera. BTW, just where are you located? Where I live, that Camera would get Shot in short order, if not just going into the neighbor’s Yard with a Chainsaw.

We live in the holler of the Cascades and it surely would’ve been but this guys dad was high in the sheriff department for many decades and they have connections. After so words were exchanged with my husband the guys wife filed, get this, a stalking restraining order against MY husband for, wait for it… “being aggressive with his words and body language” 😂 We went to court, they submitted 128 articles of “evidence” and we countered and it took the judge five minutes to dismiss the case in favor of my husband. They were told that their “evidence” incriminated themselves as stalkers. A week later they put their house up for sale. Now we have an old lady and her granddaughter living next door. We debate fully forgiving them for wasting our time and money and taking them to court for malicious prosecution. But at this point we’re really just happy our terrible, horrible, no good neighbors are gone.

Yall may want to check out chrome faced window film. I checked it out with a $10,000 FLIR and it couldn’t see thru it

OK so it doesn’t work during the day what can I do during the day to block this camera from going into my kitchen window and being on my driveway when I walk it all the time he uses his fence to hide behind and freak me out every time I walk by while watching me on his camera I know he’s crazy but what else can I do it’s a driveway it’s narrow and I can’t put anything there I need help

Mirrored window film for during the day, you can still see out but no one can see in, and at night the IRS will wor

Sunflowers. They grow 15 feet tall and come back every year thicker

That’d be great except that they also die off every year. If you want something like that, you need something like an evergreen bush/tree or bamboo, etc.

I wouldn’t worry. Put some ointment on it, and it’ll clear right up.

I could see this used against the paparazzi (like a wearable badge) or red light cameras (mounted near license plate) to change the autofocus of cameras. Maybe strobe them as well.

An interesting but not novel build. “Privacy” glasses with LEDs not in the human visible range have been around for years but do not seem to have caught on.

That’s likely because the amount of light necessary to overwhelm a security camera from a distance is more than battery operated face mounted LEDs can handle.

At night my cameras can clearly identify my face inside my vehicle, with my headlights on, and with no cabin lights lit. The technology is so incredible now that it’s past scary.

Paparazzi will be using high quality SLR cameras, those will have IR filters built in. IR dazzling of CCDs and CMOS sensors only works against cheap cameras, whether CCTV cameras are the cheap type will vary by brand.

and this jammer could easily be defeated with an ir block filter.

Nope, not going to say why.

I suspect you won’t say why because you don’t know yourself and want to seem smart.

Or he’s a gang stalker and won’t give up his secrets!

The cameras are IR sensitive, but the output is pixel brightness. The camera itself does not know or indicate the frequency of the light that excited it (which would make it one VERY expensive camera if every pixel was also a variable frequency meter). So there’s no “IR” in the image to block with an IR block filter. A physical IR lens filter (see the results of the image titled “real world” which is taken with an IR lens filter) would prevent the sensor from being overwhelmed by the IR LEDs. It would also severely limit that camera/sensor and restrict the FR under normal circumstances to a narrow and specific set of conditions and ambient light intensity. The “hat” was a proof of concept, not a marketable device promising to work like everybody wants. As with all the “cops and robbers” (programmers and hackers) methods employed in software and security systems, the opponents will leap frog each other. No FR will be fully trustworthy and nobody with a “cheat” is going to get by in every instance.

This idea has been around a long time.

No one’s going to talk about this in Baby Driver? It was a damn good film.

Security by “overwhelming” a camera that could have an IR shield on it isn’t remarkable. Projecting distorting features on your face so that it can’t be recognized might be a lot more fun…

“What’s he look like…”

“Dunno…looks like one o’ dem Deep Dream pictures what Google makes…”

Some surveillance cameras have, from memory, multiple sensors – one for night time IR, one for daytime.. … fit an IR filter to the daytime one…

Even cheap cameras have this. My Xiaomi $30 pan-tilt-zoom camera even has this. When it switches to night mode you hear a click when the IR filter gets moved off the lens.

In my experience most CCTV cameras only use one camera for both day and night recording and just have their own Infrared illumination for night vision. I can’t imagine governments have many state sponsored surveillance cameras installed out in the wild, instead they rely on scraping images from cameras installed by businesses and private individuals (which as we are all aware are notoriously easy to access). I don’t think the point of the project is to allow you to conduct nefarious activity unidentified but rather to take back some of the limited privacy one has.

yes but these cameras (mostly)always, have an IR filter that slides over the lens in daylgiht. even the cheapest cameras i have bought from china come with these solenoid activated filters. Im by no means a guru on the subject but I have purchased an ungodly amount of cheap cameras over the years, and usually take them apart to do basic things like waterproof them properly.

They might not be able to tell who you are but they will sure know where you are. Lit up like a Christmas tree. Unless everyone is doing it you’re going to stick out like a sore thumb. It would be interesting to see if someone would try this on a show like hunted.

It’s sad times when the reliable fake moustache has been displaced by technology.

This would obscure images on some camera but only the lowest quality ones. By default all CCD or CMOS based digital camera sensors will pick up near IR, but in anything but the cheapest cameras there is an IR filter material layer placed between the lens and the sensor. A camera on a cheap phone or mp3 player will lack an IR filter, but those on high end smartphones and pretty much any digital camera will have a filter added. So the higher spec CCTV camera won’t be dazled by IR, the cheaper low res ones which might come pre-fitted as an element of a larger item will be dazzled.

This is not true. I have a note 20 ultra which, presumably has one of the best cameras that were installed in phone’s at its date of manufacture. Pointing a remote control which utilizes a relatively super low power IR led shows up on the camera surprisingly brightly. Actually,/ when I originally learned that IR shows up in cameras it fascinated me. This fascination sent my mind on a path of experimentation with IR light and cameras for a while. I eventually purchased a bag full of high output IR LEDs mounted onto aluminum “star” PCBs to allow the LED chips to handle high amps for extended periods of time. The conclusion of my experiments was that if implemented strategically, pretty much every camera I tested couldn’t see me face. All that could be seen thru the camera was a bright spot of light where my face should have been resembling how a street light looks if you look directly at the light bulb where my face had turned into the light bulb. I even successfully “brighted” out my face completely while inside a brightly illuminated bank lobby during the day (I looked at the monitor they had made visible for customers to see to verify this). It also made everything around me appear to be more brightly illuminated on the camera. I did all this using LEDs from like 8-12 years ago too so I would speculate that there are likely far more efficient, much brighter IR LED chips available in the market now so I would think I could likely fabricate an even less conspicuous setup now.

William Gibson, in one of his novels, described a passive system that used a hoodie covered in “face parts”. I believe it was reversible to “normal looking”, when defeating facial recognition not required.

Didn’t Corey Doctorow write about this in one of his novels years ago?

Its an idea that’s been explored before to different levels of success, I have thought a few times of using less lights but shine them through a leaky light guide like fishing line hung in a few loops in front of the face, not enough to blind the camera but maybe defeat facial recognition. But now with the current Covid19 situation all that is needed is a cheap surgical mask to defeat facial recognition, which has me wondering, if the western media and governments are to be believed that they are not effective then why did China just ruin the effectiveness of their massive surveillance system by mandating that everybody must wear masks when out in public?

You wearing a mask isn’t effective against you catching the disease (other than it may cut down on you touching your face after getting the virus on your hands.) They ARE effective in helping a sick person not to cough/sneeze/etc onto a surface or their hands and thus passing it on to someone else.

Doctor’s in an operating room wear masks so if the doctor happens to be sick, he doesn’t infect the patient. He does NOT wear it so that the patient won’t infect him (you need a better seal around the mask to prevent that as particles can easily go around the edges when breathing in. But when sneezing, etc, the mucus goes straight out and hits the mask.)

You completely missed the point. He was referring to masks foiling facial recognition, not the use of face masks in correlation to germ spreading prevention

No, you missed it. nic0mac was remarking on how masks (such as healthcare workers wear during surgery, etc) can foil a facial-recognition system. Then he was asking why would China ruin their facial-recognition/surveillance system if surgical masks were NOT effective at helping to stop the spread of viruses.

I.e. he was basically asking if the following really makes sense:

Some years ago: “Hey, we need to know who everyone is and what they’re doing. Let’s put up cameras everywhere and run facial-recognition.”

Six months ago: “Hey, we have this virus going around. Let’s ask everyone wear face-masks to supposedly fight it. Oh, they prevent our surveillance system from working AND they don’t do any good against the virus? Ok, let’s MAKE them wear them, then.”

Of course it does not make sense. It would only make sense for China to have people wear masks if they DO work. I was simply correcting a common misconception as to who they protect.

You see, this is why multiple sets of eyes are needed when publishing.

For the exact same reason the only practical change that would occur when the US government increased the “Terrorist Threat Level” was that local police were encouraged to increase the number of officers on the streets to between 125% and 180% normal levels and to put them all under a “High Visibility Order. ”

A HVO just means try to operate in high traffic areas not hiding in some speed trap somewhere, or park your cruiser out by a busy street when grabbing a bite to eat.

So as usual if you wanna be safe go to the nearest Dunkin Donuts.

If you don’t want to get noticed by security just dress a bit like a security guard and move the same way they do, hidden in plain sight. Doing anything that gets you attention is never going to work reliably.

Oh, are you talking about the Fake Constitution that our president has already stated that he will ignore?

I install CCTV Systems for a living. This would only work on cheap consumer Cameras. The high end Cameras from Hikvision, Digital Watchdog and Dahua can cope with it due to the low Mega Pixel range and high end IR Filtering. If you were to do that with one of those it wouldn’t really do anything and if a dark room or at night would be like holding a flashlight up to your face. I imagine Red or UV light would work better but you would get the same effect if you were to wear Sunglasses. Kinda like the Movie Baby Driver where they do the bank heist with glasses with Red LEDs all over the lens.

use simple Halloween mask, daaa

“Hey security, someone is blinding the cameras on floor 1. Can you take a look?” “That guy again? We’re gonna escort him right out.”

I’ve been pondering this idea for some time. Not for any of the reasons above, but to defeat speed cameras. At night (and sometimes during the day), they use IR to take pictures because the headlight blind the normal spectrum. The idea was to put a ring of high intensity IR leds around the number plate to stop a camera reading it. If it wasn’t such a morally low device, I’d patent it myself and sell it (if it worked)

Can the police use strobes as a camo to get close to a person. Like set up strobes outside their home where there cameras are located and flood the cameras with these lights so they can’t be seen by the camera n walk right up so that they could look in your window.

I’m curious if there are ways to stop license plate readers from reading them? I don’t mind law enforcement having mine but apparently 3rd party access is becoming more available all the time. I read the comments above about LEDs around the plate not working, is there anything or are we just going to be stuck with it? Maybe law enforcement will have to protect the data.

Do you think this Home Depot tiny LED for hats would work the same way?

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