In William Gibson's pioneering cyberpunk novel "Neuromancer," outlaw hacktivists use stealth suits of "mimetic polycarbon" to evade the ubiquitous surveillance technology of the future. It's one of the coolest ideas in a book jammed with oddly prophetic details.
That future is now, evidently. The CHBL Jammer Coat is the latest in a string of stealth clothing, wearables and devices designed to fight back against tracking and snooping.
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The Jammer Coat may look like a Hogwarts robe, but it's actually more like a wearable Faraday cage that blocks electromagnetic waves. The idea is to keep your smartphone, tablet or other mobile devices safe from electronic spying when you're on the move. Developed by Austrian design firm Coop Himmelb(l)au, the coat has built-in pockets for multiple handheld devices.
According to the project page, the Jammer Coat is woven through with "metallized fabrics" that block all radio waves, Wi-Fi, cellular transmissions, what-have-you. That means Google can't find you, the NSA can't track you and mom can't call you. The Jammer Coat also "gives an illusion of strange multiple body parts, which hides and frees the individual physicality." Not sure what that means, exactly, but OK.
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"It is not about hiding, but an individual decision about one's visibility in an environment where the controlling mechanisms are increasing," Coop Himmelb(l)au CEO Wolf D. Prix told Wired.co.uk.
The Jammer Coat is set to debut at an exhibition in Milan later this month. It looks a little like you just walked out of the house wrapped in a quilt, but that's totally cool in Milan, so you're set.
Credit: Markus Pillhofer/Coop Himmelb(l)au