Criminal act foiled by smart body camera

When Amanda Reed disappeared on campus, safety officers were quick to start a search. Friends reported seeing her getting into a light coloured sedan at the west entrance. They were sure it was Amanda, but a review of security camera video yielded nothing.

The police were at a dead-end. Pictures of Amanda were circulated on social media, and people were encouraged to call in with any information, but to no avail.

Then a bright young student in the media lab thought of ‘Asking the Magic Eye’. Using a cloud-based intelligent system similar to IBM’s Watson computer they scoured all drone video, selfies and social media – from 22,000 students – for the answer to a simple question: “Where is Amanda Reed?”

Within a few minutes they had a somewhat cryptic answer: “In her fridge.” A follow-up question revealed that there was a walk-in refrigerator in Amanda’s chemistry lab. Campus security rushed to the lab and found the girl, cold and hungry, but thankfully alive.

After much forensic analysis, it emerged that Amanda was locked in by a suspected stalker. The act went unnoticed, but was visible in the background of video footage on the web, posted by a fellow student.

“There’s no way we could look through pics from thousands of people,” said the media lab expert, “but our Magic Eye can do it! It’s a cognitive system that does facial recognition, and matches it up with metadata like time and place of the image. You’d be surprised at some of the things it has turned up!”

Warning: Hazardous thinking at work

Despite appearances to the contrary, Futureworld cannot and does not predict the future. Our Mindbullets scenarios are fictitious and designed purely to explore possible futures, challenge and stimulate strategic thinking. Use these at your own risk. Any reference to actual people, entities or events is entirely allegorical. Copyright Futureworld International Limited. Reproduction or distribution permitted only with recognition of Copyright and the inclusion of this disclaimer.