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
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.