Kelvin Chan

The "Hoover" Project

(HOme Occupants Vehicular Electronic Reconnaissance)

The purpose of the "Hoover" project is to provide users

an opportunity to view and assimilate the multi-cultural

establishments of private residences over the internet.

This will be accomplished with the concept of telepresence.

Telepresence is defined as the ability for a user to experience

a remote environment using a probe that provides audio and

visual information back to the user. Traditionally, telepresence

probes are used for job efficiency, to interact with hazardous

environments, and to experience environments inaccessible to

humans. The "Hoover" Project will provide an extension to

the traditional use of telepresence. This mobile probe will be

installed in residential homes to view the intimate lifestyles

of several residences in Silicon Valley. The public is viewers

who have access to the internet. All information will be gathered,

processed, documented, synthesized, and statistically analyzed

for abnormalities.

The implication of this project relates to information privacy

and Big Brotherism. We are in a society consistently monitored by

forms of electronic surveillance. For example, credit ratings may

describe a person as likely to commit treason; computer monitoring

may statistically decide a person is likely to be a serial killer; in

addition, internet surveillance will provide a vast amount of

information on a person's intimate lifestyle. Agencies are now

quantifying this information to suggest a person's likeliness to

commit potential criminal activities. How easy it would be for

computers to make moral decisions.

From a technical point of view, a mobile probe will be

designed and constructed to carry a video camera and a

microphone. All video and audio information will be transmitted

wireless to a base computer workstation. This information will

then be transferred on-the-fly to a World Wide Web page, and it

will be accessible via the internet. The user will have the ability

to view video and audio information over the internet and be able

to control the probe using "Netscape", a public domain browser.