Instructables
There has been an influx of projects on the internet claiming to protect an individual from surveillance cameras. Some use lasers. Others use balloons and static electricity. The ones that I found most intriguing used infrared (IR) LEDs.

I resolved to replicate the projects that used IR LEDs. Towards this end, I lined the hood of a hoodie with 10 high-intensity IR LEDs all the while documenting the project to share with others. In fact, I was super-excited to share this project with others when I was done with it. So, modeling my project after those that came before me, I inserted the LEDs, wired them up, plugged it in and took a picture of myself with a camera modified to view IR light. When I flipped the camera around to look at the picture, the first thing I noticed was that it hadn't worked. Instead of creating a halo of light in place of my head, I looked like I was wearing a sweatshirt lined with Christmas lights.

I was ready to write the whole thing off as a fake, but I figured that perhaps the project required some more thorough testing and that is precisely what I did.

Update: Please stop telling me I used the wrong kind of IR LEDs, I powered them incorrectly, I used the wrong kind of camera (I didn't), the LEDs are meant for pulsing or that you are simply smarter than me (I don't care).

Most of you are missing a key point. The simple fact of the matter is that the viewing angle (even a high viewing angle) will not protect you if you turn your head slightly away from the camera. Assuming that you will not always know where the camera is, the prior devices that my work is modeled after won't do much to help you.

In short, it is of my opinion, that we have all probably been misled.

Cryptography that only works maybe sometimes if the hardware is old enough and Jupiter is perfectly aligned with Saturn is ineffective cryptography. The same could be said for personal-protection camera blockers. If the device is incapable of hiding your face from every IR camera at every angle, at all times, then it doesn't work. Heck, I would settle for a device that can hide you from all IR-enabled security cameras at night, but I even doubt this is possible using current methods.

Like I said, if anyone can take my experiment and make it work without altering it too much... take 12 5mm IR LEDs with no more than 12v of power and make it work at all viewing angles (without the addition of optics), I would be actually very pleased to be proven wrong. However, I am suspicious as to whether anyone can do this given these parameters.


 
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SamiR1016 days ago

I got 2 cents. Maybe another approach would work? First of all, I have no actual knowledge on this matter. I'm just thinking basing on my knowledge of photography with normal DSLR cameras. So everything I write may not be applicable for this kind of thing. Anyway...

Cameras that shoot also in daylight take light spectrum in from both ends of visible light. And a bit beyond. Standard digital cameras actually have an IR filter built in. How about UV?

A camera that can take IR but shoots also in daylight must be able to see UV too. And unless it has a UV filter, perhaps UV leds work. (Who uses UV filters anyway? I only use UV filters as lens protection. Cheaper to replace a filter than fix the lens. But if I get too much glare I still take it off.) But make sure they don't hit your skin constantly or especially your eyes, and especially in darkness. Might not be a good idea to get constant UV light in one's retina while the iris is fully open due to the darkness.

Flooding the sensor with UV light should work for common digital cameras and maybe, just maybe those CCTV cameras which shoot in the dark with IR, provided they also shoot daylight with the same lens and sensor. And at least normal digital cameras are more sensitive to UV than to IR. In night mode the aperture is wide open, letting a lot of light in so it can see the IR. Might be easier to flood the sensor with UV.

There are wide angle leds out there. Not sure if UV or IR, but if you get like 130 degree leds and put few of them side by side, pointing away from your face, they should cover quite a wide angle.

Don't know much about CCTV technology so I might be wrong though. But maybe give UV leds a go? Just don't use this to commit any crimes. Only protect your anonymity or something like that.

Hey... last thing. Sunblock blocks UV rays. Perhaps there is a lotion that blocks IR rays. Not really sure if it is even possible, little alone if such product exists. But if there is a camera which is specialised solely to IR light, maybe IR blocking lotion would extend the effect of those leds. The face would look darker to the camera even without the leds and leds in front of your face would emphasise that.

SamiR10 SamiR1016 days ago

Oh, and UV also disperses easier, being short. IR is longer waves, goes more straight. So maybe that would also help with the issue that the IR led needs to be pointing directly at the camera. Maybe you won't even need wide angle leds with UV leds.

friscobrad24 days ago

Great thinking! I have a design I am going to be trying soon and your work will help considerably. Thank you for your contribution. I have to admit that my version will not meet the parameters you set for yours(I will be using more then 12 LED's, and I am planning on using several power supplies in different locations to distribute the weight). Never the less, Thank you for your work! And I hope you keep at it.

jpayne125 months ago

A design suggestion. Have you tried wiring them into a hat brim lined with white or reflective paint at a downward angle?

Very good scientific work !
bschran3 years ago
Hate to say it but most security cameras like the one pictured are IR cameras... you would actually be helping the camera along by having that on you.
ilpug bschran2 years ago
True, but that isn't the premise of the idea. Normal cameras use visible light, and if you shine a really bright light at them , that part of the camera is blinded in the film/photo. The same is true with IR cameras. It seems like this would work, you would just need one super-powerful IR light to do it effectively.
For further proof, see the cover photo for my "Infrared night vision digital camera/camcorder" instructable.  It is an IR photo of a second identical IR camera which is pointed ALMOST straight at the camera taking the photo. Even at this slight angle the IR LED's are dimmed enough that my face is clearly visible.
Have you tried diffused LED's?
noahh4 years ago
 I'm not questioning your results, but how did KipKay do it?
polymeme noahh4 years ago
Right at the end of that video there are a few frames where he moves his head slightly and the brightness from one or both of the LED's drops substantially - to the point where you could see his face. That's the point he's trying to make here - that this only works if you point the LED straight at the camera at all times.
noahh polymeme4 years ago
Oh, I see. Thanks.
Fashim4 years ago
A Balaklava with lots IF LEDS attached would be quite the handy
ectorcab6 years ago
Come on, i know its fun to play with electronics but just put a mask/hat/stockings over your face and go to work
I dunno, to me the point of this would be to wear it when I'm NOT doing anything illegal...
it's not illegal to wear stuff over your face... maybe just a little wierd walking into the bank is all.
Depends on where you are. From West Virginia State code... §61-6-22. Wearing masks, hoods or face coverings... whether in a motor vehicle or otherwise, while wearing any mask, hood or device whereby any portion of the face is so covered as to conceal the identity of the wearer, may: (1) Come into or appear upon any walk, alley, street, road, highway or other thoroughfare dedicated to public use; etc. etc. It goes on and on.
Wow. Halloween must be a busy time for the West Virginia State Troopers. They need to toughen up their young offender act.
Fortunately, the innocent have nothing to fear. A phrase which strike terror into the hearts of innocents everywhere ;)
my pants are brown.
(pants, english= underware, american)
Yes, I ones made that mistake in Britain. It was moderately embarrassing. Damn yankee media! ;)
jdyland jdyland5 years ago
c. Any person who violates any provision of this section is guilty of a misdemeanor, and, upon conviction thereof, shall be fined not more than five hundred dollars or imprisoned in the county jail not more than one year, or both fined and imprisoned.
(Not leet 5peak, broken "s" key!) I know it'5 not, I ju5t meant that I would like to wear it when I'm out doing 5hopping or 5omething, to confu5e the 5ecurity guy5. "I thought what I'd do was, I'd pretend I was one of those deaf-mutes"
(Not leet 5peak, broken "s" key!) I know it'5 not, I ju5t meant that I would like to wear it when I'm out doing 5hopping or 5omething, to confu5e the 5ecurity guy5. "I thought what I'd do was, I'd pretend I was one of those deaf-mutes # of "5" used - 8 # of "s" used - S sorry - s key works, you just dont use it. oh by the way my 5 key doesn't work so i'm using S instead.
The part in quote5 wa5 cut and pa5ted. And i half lied, the "s" 5witch work5, but ha5 no button on top, 5o i have to jab it with a 5tick. n0W 1f 1 wuz typ3in lik di5, i
lolz i just bought one for 10 bucks it's silicone and i can rolz it up and "use in the sandstorms great" and "even use under wet waters for short time" i love chinglish
z0mg, l1k3 t3h l1v3 fr33 0r d13 h4rd 0n3? (zomg, like the live free or die hard one?)
eh? anyway, sssssssssssssssssss fixed now, yay!
You lie! your "s" key is working fine! like I told my dad when I was 8 "I cant say fork, I can only say thork!"
Caspar lilshawn6 years ago
Not just weird -- scary. The Chaser team (Australia) had someone who tried to buy things (milk, newspaper...) with a stocking over his head. One shopkeeper offered him money, another locked himself in a back room and called the police. On second thought, don't try it over there. We don't have as many scared people with guns here.
(Not leet 5peak, broken "s" key!) Ha ha, that5 funny! Thought of doing that year5 ago. Didnt.
 could you make it at least shine at all angles by arranging four or five around a point, almost like a 3d star?
ugs5 years ago
Their are a few ways to blot yourself out from video cameras. First you need to know what type camera you are being veiwed by. Different type cameras act differently to light sources. Some cameras need no light at all and work from thermal source. These cameras or imagers are difficult to blot out you need to use coolants or heat sources. Other CMOS or Digital Cams like Common IP Cameras are easily affected by counter emissions. A strong IR Diode well placed and worn on ones person will blot your image out, but you must use the proper wavelength Diode and it must be well placed.
I use Sequinyes sequince. The sow on or glue on type in either gold or silver work well but other different colors have their effect too. If the Diode is
placed directly in the middle of the sequince it acts as a reflector to enhance and direct the illumination for the best effectwhich would be your face and other identifying areas. Keep trying you will get it! Also remember it is not exact science either. Different type cameras act differently to different light emissions. thanks!
smessud5 years ago
Sew you IR LEDS to a headband (every 10 degrees or so), so that it does not depend on where your clothes are facing.
berky935 years ago
this is a cool idea. I, when I need to block a camera's view of something, use my laser. I have a powerful (75mw) and not as powerful (5 mw) green laser, both of which are great for blocking cameras (5 or 75 times better than the red laser in your link, plus more because the human eye is more sensitive to green light than red light)
I am a single 62 yr old woman and needs help. I put 12 cameras in about 8 yrs ago and all 12 was total burned up at different times. my tapes were stolen out of the 3 dvr's, but my house was always lot up. I still having problems with people breaking into my home or stealing everything outside of my home. In June 2009, I put 3 cameras in again. Every time I leave the house my cameras get shut down. example. Sunday went to church. cameras shut down from 9:30am to 12:30. Wed , bible study, I was gone from 6 to 8:30 pm. Came home and put the time in at 5 pm to 8:30 pm and cameras was shut down again from 6:18pm to 8:15pm when they came back on. I have a neighbor that moved next to me in 1994 and that is when my problems started. He was a high officer in securities in the services and he brags that he can shut cameras down and disarmed them. This man and his wife has made my life hell. Do you know any way that I can protect my cameras or is there a way I can prove that he is the one tearing up everything I own. Things are still getting destroyed every day and I don't have any of the on my cameras!!!! email me back and let me know of any suggestions. Thank you.
This is rather strange. First, you have to explain what "shutting down" means. Are they powered by mains, and if so, is the cabling protected all the way? Second, what kind of cameras do you have (just give bbrand and model numbers)? Then how are they connected to VCR (cable, wireless)? Do you have anything recorded on VCR, that is are you sure the VCR is working properly ? Now, considering the harassment, only a police officer can help you. May be you could try concealing a camcorder (on batteries) just to see if there is physical acces to the cameras or if some people are using wireless techniques to disable the electronic inside.
instructors5 years ago
Dont some cameras have to have there night vision setting already on to see the infrared LED's?
Jouda Mann6 years ago
Fantastic Science on this one. Some people would see this as a failure, but Thomas Edison said of his trials with the Incandescent Lamp: "I didn't fail, I found out two thousand ways how not to make a light bulb". Regardless of whether the experiment yielded the results you wanted, you still know something that you didn't know before, and that is the real point of invention, science, and progress. Also, kudos to you for posting your "failure"
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