Secret Messages Seen Only By Camera Phones

Kameraflage is a display technology that uses a special property of digital cameras to hide messages or other content in plain sight. The hidden content is only revealed when you look at it through your cellphone camera or other digital camera.

Kameraflage is possible because digital cameras see a broader spectrum of light (colors) than human eyes. By rendering content in these invisible colors we are able to create displays that are invisible to the naked eye, yet can be seen when imaged with a digital camera.

Kameraflage has some interesting applications that seem fairly practical (like having information appear only when a picture is taken at museums, etc.). However, I liked the more subversive element; kids (or grownups) who are stuck with a particular uniform can reveal another side of themselves to their peers with camera-phones. Note that the lightning bolt only appears in the camera-phone image in the picture shown above (see kameraflage sample photo).

I couldn't think of any real science fiction predictions of this, but it did remind me of the Vegans in Roger Zelazny's classic 1966 novel This Immortal:

"Take that flower from your hair ... Look at it ... What do you see?" "A pretty white flower. That's why I picked it, and put it in my hair."

"But it is not a pretty white flower. Not to me, anyway. Your eyes perceive light with wavelengths between about 4,000 and 7,000 angstrom units. The eyes of a Vegan look deeper into the ultraviolet, for one thing, down to about 3,000 ... On this 'white' flower I see two colors for which there are no words in your language. My body is covered with patterns you cannot see, but they are close enough to those of the others in my family that another Vegan .... could tell my family and province at our first meeting..."

Exposure to these stories is a must for cameraphiles:

From kameraflage via Futurismic.

(This Science Fiction in the News story used with permission from - where science meets fiction.)