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Dead medium: Ultra-Personal Sony Handycam
From: (Stefan Jones)
Source(s): Reuters wire service, August 12, 1998 09:36 a.m. EDT

"Sony halts camera that can see through clothes"

"TOKYO (August 12, 1998) Electronics giant Sony Corp. said Wednesday it had halted shipments of some video cameras after finding they could be used for filming more of their subjects than meets the eye.

"Some versions of the Handycam have infrared technology which lets users shoot at night or in darkness in a 'night shot' mode.

"But magazine reports revealed that when the special feature is used in daylight or a lighted room with a special filter it can 'see through' clothing == underwear can show up, especially on those lightly dressed, and people wearing swimsuits look almost naked.

"A Sony spokesman said the first the company knew of the camera's surprise feature was when reporters started asking for comments on the 'new way' of using the camera.

"Sony technicians then experimented and confirmed that the technology had the unintended capability.

"'When we developed this feature for the Handycam, we were thinking of people filming night views == their children sleeping, or perhaps the nocturnal behavior of animals,' the spokesman said.

(((bruces remarks: This weird incident received lavish media attention. It's remarkable that Sony removed this product from the market merely because of unforeseen prurient applications. It's been said that one of the major reasons for the failure of Sony Betamax was Sony's unwillingness to see Betamax used for video pornography. Given the notoriously seamy history of home video technology, one can bet good money that this infrared device will be re-released specifically *because* it has imaginary abilities to make people seem people nude.)))

Stefan Jones (