Surveillance Camera and Smart Watch Technologies


Neanderthals, crude tools, and problems associated with the socio-economic limitations of the ancient world are things of the past because of the breakthrough in technology. After inventing the wheel and after the discovery of techniques related to agriculture and animal domestication, ancient people pursued one innovation after another. Human beings became the dominant species on the planet after leveraging technological discoveries. In order to satisfy immediate needs, these technologies were developed regardless of the unintended consequences. Thus, it is not always a bad thing to disregard unforeseen consequences. Having full knowledge of the negative outcomes of a certain technology would have prevented brilliant people from pursuing knowledge and insights that enabled them to produce innovations and inventions (Tenner 1). The burden of unintentional consequences could have prevented the invention of surveillance cameras and smart watches, making the world less safe and less efficient.

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Overview of Surveillance Camera Technology

A surveillance camera system is a byproduct of innovative thinking. TV monitors and cameras were invented for specific purposes. Cameras were designed to capture images for the purpose of entertainment and news reporting. On the other hand, TV monitors were designed for viewing the footages or videos that were recorded using the said camera. Thus, there was a need to fuse these two types of technologies in order to produce the surveillance camera system. Innovative thinking came into play after shrinking cameras into appropriate sizes for surveillance purposes. After incorporating digital technology into the mix, the updated version allows users to record images into computers (Fuller 1). Users have the option to either view the video in real time or review the recorded data at a later date.

Surveillance cameras are like portable and efficient documentation devices. Businessmen, managers of establishments, and security personnel are grateful for the useful application of the said technology. Store owners install surveillance systems in order to prevent shoplifting or deter other forms of criminal activity. Surveillance cameras mounted on less conspicuous areas of a building provide another layer of security. Security personnel leverage the unwavering capability of a surveillance system in order to monitor the movement of people and valuable items. More importantly, the 24/7 video recording capacity comes handy in the event of an investigation.

Unintended Consequences

Recent updates in the core technology enable the creation of wireless and remote controlled systems. In addition, sophisticated digital storage capabilities paved the way for the non-stop recording and monitoring of key areas. As a result, it is possible to observe and record human activity from different angles. This capability becomes problematic after installing surveillance cameras in public places like libraries, parks, and government offices (Newell and Randall 1932). People who are uncomfortable with the pervasive nature of video surveillance made their displeasure known in light of the fact that the Constitution ensures their right to privacy. The ability to know what a person is reading or buying is an invasion of privacy, and this is the unintended consequence of the technology surrounding the surveillance camera.

The need to solve an urgent problem drives innovators and inventors to pursue knowledge required to formulate an appropriate solution. One can argue that it is not the primary goal of inventors to focus on unintended consequences. In this case, the arrival of the surveillance camera technology provided solutions to security and investigation needs. It is important to be mindful of the destructive and inhumane consequences of certain technological developments. However, it is also imperative to encourage innovation and scientific discoveries. Without a doubt, technological innovations gave rise to health hazards and environmental degradation. Nevertheless, the solution to the problems that plague the human race requires the emergence of cutting-edge technology. Therefore, it is prudent to inspire the next generation of scientists and innovative thinkers to push back the limitations of human knowledge.

Overview of Smart Watch Technology

A smart watch is also the byproduct of innovative thinking. In a nutshell, a smart watch is the end result of the fusion between a conventional watch and a smart phone. It is important to transform an analog version into a digital upgrade in order for the device to function like a miniaturized computer (Valdes and Chandler 1). After adding Bluetooth wireless capability to the smart watch, the said electronic equipment becomes more than a sophisticated digital time-keeping device. Thus, users have the capability to install apps for navigation purposes or for tracking physical activity.

Due to cost and technological limitations, smart watches are not stand-alone communication and computer devices in the same way that consumers enjoy the use of their smart phones (Valdes and Chandler 1). Bluetooth wireless connectivity enables the smart watch to make a call or access the Internet with the assistance of a smart phone. Thus, the intended purpose of the said device is to provide an alternative way to access the World Wide Web and the caller functions of a mobile phone. In other words, it is more convenient and less time-consuming to determine the caller or read messages via a wearable piece of technology as opposed to fetching out the mobile phone from the purse or a back pocket.

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Unintended Consequences

Tony Beltramelli’s master’s thesis for the IT University of Copenhagen outlined an unintended consequence of using smart watches (Pulliam-Moore 1). Beltramelli pointed out a way to hack a smart watch in order to monitor and record the user’s hand movements. It is a form of data mining, and the information collected is comprised of hand gestures or how a person moves through physical space (Pulliam-Moore 1). Beltramelli also demonstrated how this monitoring scheme detects and analyzes gestures like a “hand pressing the keys on a pin pad” (Pulliam-Moore 1). It is possible to monitor and record the said information by accessing a compromised smart watch. Although it is not easy to gain access and have full control over a wearable device, unscrupulous people are not going to allow certain encumbrances to hinder them in the pursuit of a target with access to large sums of money. In other words, the use of a hacked smart watch makes it easier to steal user’s passwords for online banking and other online accounts. This is an example of an unintended consequence of using smart watch technology.

It is not easy to predict the unforeseen consequences of using a particular technology. More often than not, developers and inventors are consumed by a single-minded focus to solve a specific human problem. In this particular case, there is a need to simplify the process of answering or rejecting calls. They need to figure out a way to speed up the process of accessing messages and emails. As a result, the creators of smart watches succeeded not only in solving an urgent need, they also contributed knowledge and insights with regards to improving miniaturized electronic technology.


It is essential to consider the unintended consequences of using a particular technology. However, inventors and innovators cannot allow the paralyzing effect of the unknown to hinder their work. A technological breakthrough is made possible by the desire to solve urgent problems. It is true that the surveillance camera system’s caused an inadvertent impact on people’s right to privacy. However, the same innovative product safeguards life and property in a significant manner. Without a doubt, the use of smart watches may expose the user to the perils of identity theft. However, the popularity of smart watches encourages innovators and inventors to push the envelope when it comes to improving the technology surrounding miniaturized electronic equipment.

It is of critical importance to realize the impact of technological innovations in the lives of people. Unintended consequences go beyond the issues regarding the invasion of privacy or identity theft. In most cases, the discovery and application of technology for the purpose of cost-efficiency or time-saving purposes also became starting points in the destruction of the environment. Technologies that were developed to increase yields or maximize outputs are now threatening the sustainability of the planet’s ecosystem. However, this is not the time to give in to the paralyzing effect of unintended consequences. There is a need to embrace a more practical worldview, because it is vital to realize the fact that the ultimate solution to the problems related to environmental degradation, the violation of constitutional rights, and identity theft is not going to arise out of fear. The ultimate solution emerges only as a result of the continuous pursuit for higher knowledge.

Works Cited

Fuller, John. How security cameras work. HowStuffWorks. 2009, Web.

Newell, Bryce and David Randall. “Video Surveillance in Public Libraries.” Computer Society, vol. 12, no. 1, 2013, pp. 1932-1941.

Pulliam-Moore, Charles. Your smart watch can be hacked to monitor and steal your passwords. The Huffington Post. 2016, Web.

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Tenner, Edward. Unintended consequences. TED Talks. 2011, Web.

Valdes, Robert and Nathan Chandler. How smart watches work. HowStuffWorks. 2005, Web.

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