Check the Styleblaster blog if you want to see every single person who passes by this hidden camera off the Bedford L stop. It’s like Rear Window. But in real time, all the time. And in the front. But are they stylin’?
The hell is this, you ask?
The camera sits in our apartment and takes a photo whenever someone passes by our window. We have a webcam hooked up to a Processing sketch, which sends pictures up into the cloud. To get people walking from right to left–so they’d be seen front on–we do motion detection using an optical flow field. It’s pretty cool, seeing it at work: it looks like the person is pulling a bunch of rubber bands across the frame, which tell it to snap the picture.
As you’re clicking through endless time-stamped shots of passerby strangers, you can see if they’re stylin’ by clicking the top hat. It’s a style-blog! Sort of! Because you know what they say about Williamsburg and the h-words and the blah blah blah… Enough clicking through these shots will show you the real demographics. So far we’re seeing lots of school kids. Ooh, nice coat, man. Hmm. What do you know. Relative diversity! Deep thoughts, deep thoughts. See, it’s already more useful than NYPD’s spy cam network! And damn, it’s addictive.
Styleblaster is a personal project by Jules LaPlace, technology director at artists’ Ryder Ripps and Jonathan Vingiano‘s indie creative firm OkFocus behind such internet gems as Draw With Your Face, the “Kanye’s start-up” WhoDat.biz hoax and MoCA’s land art explorer tool. Good company! Had nothing to do with this thing, just saying. For context. They rule the internets. Feel the force.
Now let’s hope the FBI isn’t knocking on LaPlace’s door to bust shit up like they did for Kyle McDonald.