The goal of the Limelight is to provide the user with an awareness of the current
condition of actual threats that should be of concern. This is not simply the
threat as indicated through a press release by a
organization or a report by a
news agency. Nor, is it entirely a function of local information such as
nearby loud noises, heat, or radioactivity. The current threat is an
elaborate and complicated function of numerous local and global indicators,
including but not limited to the above. The ability to correctly identify,
monitor, and interpret this plethora of information is beyond the scope of a
single individual. The demand for an automated electronic personal
tactical threat detection and indication system is obvious.
Limelight is designed to provide
the necessarily balance of local measurements and global monitoring to provide
an accurate awareness of threats. However, the privilege of obtaining this
information and easing the mind of the user is not without its price: the
relinquishing of privacy and personal biometric data as well as the profiling of
the individual's usage patterns, location, and activities.
The system is composed of five
Initialization and Operation
Each is described in further
detail in the following sections.
The system is designed to
co-exist in habitats and situations humans frequent. Standing at around 40
cm and weighing less than 4 kg, it can be comfortably used on a bookshelf,
table, dashboard, kitchen, etc. It rests sturdily on its base and is
just as easy to transport by grabbing its soft outer membrane. Its design is
centered around the typical consumer -- soft and playful rather than dangerous
and industrial. Intended to be easily situated in any room of a private
home, it is just as easily transported and used at a public office, coffee shop,
bar, or restaurant. In essence, it is usable wherever and whenever humans
feel anxiety from threats and are comforted by real-time threat monitoring and
Inside are a variety of
components and sub-systems along with a battery, providing 8+ hours of
operational time. All of the internal components are solid state, without
any moving parts, and especially designed for operation in an embedded system
such as Limelight.
Initialization and Operation
The system remains in standby
mode, conserving battery life, until a user initiates a session by providing their personal biometric data. They do this via a
hardware fingerprint recognition system located at the base of
Limelight. This fingerprint data is captured
for use within the system. Relinquishing this data is an important prerequisite
to the overall operation of Limelight as
it establishes a biometric guarantee of the location of the individual user.
This allows for tracking, monitoring, and surveilling of the user during its
operation as well as during subsequent uses.
Limelight also initiates a
wireless, low bandwidth (9600 kbs) connection with the global internet (this is
currently accomplished through low bit rate wireless modems -- see
global monitoring section for more details).
It is then able to transmit the fingerprint data back to the central EIU server
as well as establish a continuous link to the global network.
Once the fingerprint acquisition
has occurred, the system initiates its normal operation: the vigilant monitoring
of the current state of threat and indicating an awareness of this threat to the
The current threat is an elaborate and complicated
function of numerous local and global indicators. A variety of local
sensing equipment onboard Limelight samples the
local environment thousands of times every second. The measurements are
carefully compared to "normal parameters" as well as globally changing
indicators to watch for any sign signaling a potential threat. The rules
used to determine a current threat are also in flux, constantly being updated
and reconfigured via the wireless remote network connection to
Limelight from the EIU server.
A more detailed list of local sensing hardware can be
is only one piece of a larger global threat detection infrastructure.
Using a low bandwidth connection, Limelight can
communicate with remote, high speed servers that monitor the state of various
threat parameters around the globe. This accessible remote data not only
provides additional threat detection accuracy but allows
Limelights to be uploaded with the most recent threat detection
algorithms and sensor weightings. This adaptability is a powerful feature
of Limelight -- allowing for threats not anticipated in the initial release to
be accommodated as demand dictates.
A more detailed list of global
monitoring hardware can be found here.
With real time data streaming from the global monitoring
systems and numerous onboard sensors measuring the local state of terror, it is
ultimately the ambient threat indicator that provides the processed, resulting
output to the user. The threat awareness is indicated by several
sub-systems onboard Limelight .
Limelight is a physical, ambient background
process. It is non-disruptive during low and mild threatening conditions,
simply providing the level of threat by simple ambient cues.
A set of colored lights located along the central length of
the unit are visible from both sides and provide a visual "heartbeat of
A speaker embedded within the lower portion of the base is
capable of producing low frequency vibrations, hums, and oscillations to
unobtrusively indicate the current threat.
Under more extreme levels of
threat Limelight is capable of producing brighter
distracting lights and noises as well as visual nervous vibrations and clouds of