October 10, 2013
It’s interesting to see camouflage. I mean the design on clothes. I’m guessing the fashion kind people wear are mostly symbolic. Exactly which symbolism they represent to someone…you’ll have to ask them. I came across an interesting camouflage design that’s been around since the early 1900’s. It’s not symbolic but was used on war ships. The basic reason for any camouflage is to confuse another observer but in the case of the dazzle design it apparently was most effective when the enemy observer used a rangefinder. The dazzle patterns were in a way like those of a zebra and were designed to make position and headings difficult to estimate when aiming. Radar and other higher tech methods have really eliminated these fun dazzle painted ships. Too bad!
Another thing about dazzle camouflage is that it can confuse facial recognition programs. Yeah, facebook and google recognition algorithms apparently don’t see a face when it’s painted in this dazzle design which is basically face painting and some hair over the face. Everytime I upload a picture to google+, google wants to identify people in my pictures and asks me if I want to tag them. I don’t think dazzle face painting after the fact will work for this but there is an app for android called Obscuracam if you want to “camouflage” faces in your pics. And I think youtube has a tool to blur faces….probably something for iOS as well. Maybe we like identifying people because it makes us feel like we’re helping a computer or we might forget who they are?
As humans we see patterns everywhere and our visual system sorts out shapes and colors through some complex processing. But we can be confused by shapes and colors and shadows. Even two simple lines can be drawn which can influence our perspective on size and dimension. We can fool nature sometimes but it’s hard to fool ourselves unless you’re looking at one of those visual/optical illusions. One researcher believes that once our brain receives an input which involves a time lag from the eye to interpretation, we have an automatic response which helps mitigate the delay, or lag. But that automatic response may not match what happens in reality which is why these illusions might work. Needless to say, these illusions work and can trick our brains.
As I was reading up on dazzle camouflage I came across way too many interesting things to mention as happens when googling. If you’re interested in the topic, check out a couple of the links below or just google on your own.