As every covert agent knows, it’s hard to keep up with housework when you’re always lurking behind corners, evading double agents, and thinking of ever more complex ways of mixing martinis. With the new robotic spying vacuum, life just got easier.
Dubbed the Tango View, Samsung’s latest robotic vacuum model is like a mixture of one of James Bond’s gadgets and the Jetsons’ Rosie the robot: In vacuum mode, it automatically maneuvers around your home, making your floors (nearly) spotless just like a Roomba; in surveillance mode, you can guide the robot via remote control and have it live-stream video to your smartphones, laptops, and other gadgets. Thanks to its microphone and low-light camera, you can drive the robot around your house and secretly listen and watch your friends and family. (We’re not condoning this kind of paranoid behavior, by the way.)
So at the convenience of your couch, you can check on the family pet, see what your kids are up to, or just snoop around unbeknownst to anybody else (it’s “just vacuuming,” after all). From asking your spouse a question in another room to investigating things that go bump in the night, this secret agent vacuum can act as your eyes and ears when you’re too lazy or scared or on-another-continent to look yourself.
If you live in Korea, the Tango View could be yours for $700, which may seem like a hefty price considering it has a major flaw: It cannot spy and vacuum at the same time. Even a robotic spy isn’t perfect.
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If one London art gallery is correct in predicting the future of police surveillance, we may have to redefine the meaning of ‘sting’ operation: one artist’s mock-interview with a (fake) beekeeping police officer describes how bees can be used to track down growers of illegal plants–and the scary thing is that this art video is only a hop and a skip from reality.
An exhibition called “High Society: Mind-Altering Drugs in History and Culture” at London’s Wellcome Collection features a short film by artist Thomas Thwaites, entitled “Policing Genes,” in which a mock police officer explains the latest in surveillance trickery. Essentially, the police officers tend bee hives, and when the bees return from their daily pollen-hunt, the officers not only check the bees for pollen from such plants as marijuana, but can also use software to decode the dance of the honeybee. And since pollen-laden bees dance to tell the other bees where they found the pollen, decoding the dance would tell the police the exact location of the illegal plants.