They've been a mainstay of the hyper-paranoid for decades — at least when it comes to comic depictions. But now, the classic, beloved tin foil hat has left the world of hyperbole to become an actual, honest-to-god mind-reading-deflection machine. And it looks fancy, to boot.
Designed by Lisa Kori and Caitlin Morris of the Italian communications center Fabrica, the headpieces are meant to block any sort of neuroimaging surveillance (NIS) not by virtue of the gear itself but by momentarily distracting its wearer as soon as it detects any NIS activity. NIS is usually used in the medical field to monitor a patient's neural activity, but if you dabble in conspiracy theory, it's easy to see how you might conflate neural monitoring and mind control. According to the Lisa Kori:
When a scan is detected, the accessories provoke a sensory reaction that will demand the wearer's attention, changing their current brain activity patterns and affording a moment of privacy through camouflage. The three objects are a collar which nudges the wearer with a gentle electric shock, a hat with transmits sound via bone conduction, and a mask that distracts the wearer with flashing lights.
So rather than being able to detect what the user might be thinking or feeling, any NIS activity will pick up the user's responses to the intentionally jarring stimuli. Bonus: you'll be fully aware every time Big Brother tries to take a peek inside that brain of yours. [Lisa Kori via PSFK]