These cute animal-shaped cameras take the creepiness out of video surveillance

[Update on April 15, 2014: After exhibiting them at Milan Design Week 2014, Parson informed us that the Owl, Chameleon, Tropical Bird, and Urban Bird cameras will be available for pre-order at their website. The cameras will be made entirely in Italy, from the handcrafted exterior to the interior technology that’s developed by Video Systems.]

In this day and age when everyone is obsessed with security, video surveillance has become commonplace in many public spaces. And, although we know we’re being observed for our own safety and that of everyone around us, it is still somewhat creepy to think that your every move is being recorded on video. That’s especially true when the cold, industrial cameras are in plain sight, staring back at you like the instruments of a Big Brother-like surveillance system depicted in George Orwell’s 1984.

While there isn’t much we can do about being “watched,” surveillance companies could make the experience more comfortable – if not downright enjoyable – by changing the appearance of security cameras. That’s exactly what Italian design studio Parson has done with their concept series of animal-shaped security cameras. Clad in sand-cast aluminum bodies shaped like a parrot, squirrel, or grasshopper, these cameras will make you just love video surveillance when you see them (or, at least for a few minutes, forget about being monitored).

But in all seriousness, in places like playgrounds in busy parts of a large city, or children’s hospitals, these cameras could actually provide a huge benefit. Instead of a regular surveillance camera that can look intimidating, the sight of a cute animal could put both kids and concerned parents at ease. Which is not to say that every spot in the world should be outfitted with these just because they look so amicable, but it shows that Big Brother doesn’t have to always look scary.

(Via Parsons, KNSTRCT via Design Taxi; this article was originally published on March 27, 2014)

Product Review

The design still says retro, but Fujifilm's X-T3 is all about the future

If the X-T2 brought Fujifilm into the modern era, the X-T3 is focused on the future. With a new sensor and processor, completely revamped autofocus, and vastly upgraded video, it's the new APS-C camera to beat.
Home Theater

The best movies on Netflix in October, from 'The Witch’ to ‘Black Panther’

Save yourself from hours wasted scrolling through Netflix's massive library by checking out our picks for the streamer's best movies available right now, whether you're into explosive action, subdued humor, or anything in between.
Movies & TV

The best shows on Netflix, from 'The Haunting of Hill House’ to ‘The Good Place’

Looking for a new show to binge? Lucky for you, we've curated a list of the best shows on Netflix, whether you're a fan of outlandish anime, dramatic period pieces, or shows that leave you questioning what lies beyond.
Emerging Tech

From flying for fun to pro filmmaking, these are the best drones you can buy

In just the past few years, drones have transformed from a geeky hobbyist affair to a full-on cultural phenomenon. Here's a no-nonsense rundown of the best drones you can buy right now, no matter what kind of flying you plan to do.
Movies & TV

'Prime'-time TV: Here are the best shows on Amazon Prime right now

There's more to Amazon Prime than free two-day shipping, including access to a number of phenomenal shows at no extra cost. To make the sifting easier, here are our favorite shows currently streaming on Amazon Prime.

When you're ready to shoot seriously, these are the best DSLRs you can buy

For many photographers the DSLR is the go-to camera. With large selection of lenses, great low-light performance, and battery endurance, these DSLRs deliver terrific image quality for stills and videos.

Adobe’s craziest new tools animate photos, convert recordings to music in a click

Adobe shared a glimpse behind the scenes at what's next and the Creative Cloud future is filled with crazy A.I.-powered tools, moving stills, and animation reacting to real-time tweets.

Remove photo bombs, other unwanted objects with Photoshop’s new Content-Aware Fill

Photoshop's newest A.I-powered tool helps remove objects or fill in gaps for a distraction-free photo in the new Adobe Photoshop CC 2019. Here's how to remove an object in Photoshop using the new Content-Aware Fill.

Adobe Premiere Rush CC is the cloud-based video editing app you've been waiting for

On stage at Adobe MAX 2018, Adobe announced its cloud-centric, social video-editing application, Adobe Premiere Rush CC. We took some time to put it through its paces to see what it offers, how it works, and what's missing.

Adobe MAX 2018: What it is, why it matters, and what to expect

Each year, Adobe uses its Adobe MAX conference to show off its latest apps, technologies, and tools to help simplify and improve the workflow of creatives the world over. Here's what you should expect from this year's conference.
Social Media

Over selfies and an onslaught of ads? Here's how delete your Instagram account

Despite its outstanding popularity and photo-sharing dominance, Instagram isn't for everyone. Thankfully, deleting your account is as easy as logging into the site and clicking a few buttons. Here's what you need to do.

Huawei and Leica’s monochrome lens is dead, so we celebrate its life

The Huawei Mate 20 and Mate 20 Pro do not have a dedicated monochrome camera lens, unlike the P20 Pro, and various Huawei and Leica phones before it. It's the end of an era, and also the start of a new one, as Leica has worked on its…
Emerging Tech

Keep your holiday gift list high tech and under budget with these gadgets

Modern technology doesn't always come cheap, but there plenty of premium devices that don't carry a premium price. Whether you're looking for a streaming device or a means of capturing photos from above, our list of the best tech under $50…
Emerging Tech

The best drone photos from around the world

Most of today's drones come equipped with high-end cameras, which are quickly revolutionizing the world of aerial photography as we know it. Here are some of the best drone photos from around the world.