These aren’t for the faint of heart.
If you’re looking to bypass the Madison Square Garden enemy list, do we have a brand for you. An Italian clothing line, Cap_able, just released a collection of absolutely outlandish knits, all designed with the goal of fooling facial recognition software — no mask or face painting required.
The trick? Scrambled images of dogs, zebras and giraffes, knitted into the fabric with the specific goal of tricking facial scanning algorithms to identify the wrong species.
“In a world where data is the new oil,” reads the company’s website, “Cap_able addresses the issue of privacy, opening the discussion on the importance of protection from the misuse of biometric recognition cameras: a problem that has become increasingly present in our daily lives, involving citizens around the world, and that, if neglected, could freeze the rights of the individual including freedom of expression, association, and free movement in public spaces.”
The collection — dubbed “Manifesto,” an unsurprising title considering that passionate mission statement — was designed as part of cofounder Rachele Didero’s doctorate study at the University of Milan, and tested using a facial recognition system called YOLO, according to New Atlas.
While again, masks and certain face painting techniques do work against facial recognition software, we do see the appeal — as did famed sci-fi author William Gibson — of wearing sweatpants or a sweatshirt, or maybe a long sweater dress, as an alternative means of beating the AI-based system. Although if this is the future of fashion, be warned: the knitwear’s carefully constructed patterns, all very specifically designed to trick the AI softwares, are, uh, pretty loud.
And as New Atlas points out, there are some more technical caveats. After all, those who implement the software — authoritative governments, billionaires with a penchant for feuds, et cetera — could train the machines to recognize Cap_able’s chaos sweaters pretty easily.
It’s also not exactly an affordable way to beat the system; just a t-shirt costs over $300 a pop, and it’s on sale. We might have to stick to Juggalo paint for now.
READ MORE: Flamboyant Italian clothes defeat facial recognition without masks [New Atlas]