Steve Mann, an inventor and professor widely hailed as “the father of wearable computing” expanded on the concept at the MIT Media Lab. He is a professor studying priveillance, i.e. the interplay between privacy and the veillances such as surveillance (oversight) and sousveillance (undersight) as well as metaveillance (sensing sensors and sensing their capacity to sense). Steve has been described by the media as “the world’s first cyborg” for his invention of Mediated Reality (predecessor of Augmented Reality), and also invented HDR and panoramics now implemented in most cameras including Apple iPhone. He is considered by many to be the inventor of the WearComp (wearable computer) and WearCam (EyeTap and reality mediator). Furthermore, Steve joined Blueberry as Co-Founder and CTO in 2020. He is currently the acting director of the EyeTap Personal Imaging (ePI) Lab at the University of Toronto. He is also the Chief Technical Advisor of VisionerTech.

Steve has written more than 200 publications+books+patents, and his work and inventions have has been shown at the Smithsonian Institute, National Museum of American History, The Science Museum (Wellcome Wing, opening with Her Majesty The Queen June 2000), MoMA (New York), Stedelijk Museum (Amsterdam), Triennale di Milano, Austin Museum of Art, and San Francisco Art Institute.

*** Please note: Due to the circumstances, the sound isn’t optimal. Please listen the podcast over your speakers, instead of using ear phones. About nine minutes into the conversation the sound improves. ***


00:00:00 Introduction / 00:02:00 ‘veillances / 00:04:00 Smart people / 00:06:00 Privacy and ‘veillance contracts / 00:10:00 A study of ‘veillance and us versus them / 00:13:00 anti-anti-surveillance / 00:16:00 Balancing force of equivalence and co-veillance / 00:19:00 Big watching and small watching / 00:21:00 Mental health at the center of everything

Further Reading and links:

Steve Mann LinkedIn

Blueberry Glasses


Recommendations by Steve:

** Please buy your books at your favorite local book store! **

On Future Based x Inverse Surveillance:

Inverse Surveillance AI is a project of The Asimov Institute, funded by the SIDN Fund. The project is a think tank of scientists, policymakers, and philosophers in order to answer the question, “How can we use AI as a Panopticon to promote beneficial actions for citizens by organizations?” Based on the insights produced from this think tank, a first proof of concept will be developed in a hackathon. The project lasts 6 months and operates from a utopian and solution-oriented approach. The main goal is to deepen the subject of Inverse Surveillance, to explore how AI can make this possible, and sharing all information so that it can function as a launchpad for future research. This podcast series together with Asimov director Stefan Leijnen, we go into conversations with experts in the field of AI technology. More information can be found on Asimovinstitute.or

Part of The Asimov Institute team are (project leader) Juliette Petra Rose van der Laarse and (researcher) Noah Neuman.

Host of these series is Abdelrahman Hassan. Abdelrahman lives on the intersection between software, critical theory, data, and poetry. His interests include memetics, internet geographies, technical utopias/dystopias and depictions of e-governance. His overarching goal is to bridge critical theory with digital practice and to limit accessibility gaps and hurdles to open access to knowledge.