Large Image Display:Chrysalis: Geolocation of Law Enforcement


Chrysalis is a very dark French film. It aired in 2007, and has two versions. One, in French, conveys the original intent of this cyberpunk-themed film noire movie. The other, in English, hams it up ridiculously.

We would always recommend procuring the French version of this film - with subtitles - to take in the original intent, and to avoid the urge to switch the TV off. The film itself is at times mediocre, at times brilliant. However, it is as a rich breeding ground to visual examples of potential uses of VR and related technologies that the film truly shines. In each case, it cannot help but pause and contemplate the social and legal effects of such.

This Still

This frame from the film was taken at fifty minutes through, is interesting in many ways. Even if we ignore the fact that the Google search window open in this operator's transparent display is the wrong way round, and should be presented as a mirror image as we should be seeing the back of the display, it is still an interesting concept.

This fellow is part of a row of police dispatch agents, each with their own computer terminal in front of them. That the terminals are see-through is a very innovative feature that would be of great benefit in modern offices. Not only can the supervisor in charge tell at a glance if the operator has their monitor turned the right way round... but they can see the display that everyone has up on their screens, and can tell if the employee is really working on the spreadsheet they should be working on, or if there's a flash game on their screen instead.

We do have such display systems at least in context. The heliodisplay is one such modern example. However, they are not yet at a price-point that makes such displays a practical replacement of every monitor in the building.

It would also be completely useless for sensitive data in a general office, as the film itself acknowledges, possessing different interfaces for more sensitive material. But, for an application such as this one, where there are a bank of operators, and a supervisor in charge of them, transparent monitors are an excellent idea.

The second point of this scene is just as interesting. Much earlier in the film, there was a short scene in the Interpol car park, where the fresh-faced new detective who had just transferred in, remarked she was sore as she'd just had the chip fitted. During the scene, she was massaging under her shoulder, suggesting this is where it went.

Fast-forwarding back to now, her partner has gone missing at this point of the film, and his apartment looks like a bomb hit it, with blood everywhere, but no bodies. So, this is where we find out what that chip is.

From what occurs, it is obvious the chip is an implanted RFID transceiver, most likely an active variety, with a GPS capability. The operator is able to call up the chip's code and run a search across Paris for that chip's signal, and then request a position report from the chip itself.

It doesn't do a lot of good, as the chip reports itself as being in that room, and she finds the rather large thing - about half the size of the top joint of her index finger - laying in a pool of blood near her partner's bathtub.

Still, whilst RFID chipping employees is never without controversy, using such chips in police officers - with the officer's full consent - does make a great deal of sense, as their dangerous career path often puts them in harm's way. Being able to almost instantly locate any officer when something goes wrong, or in the midst of a chaotic fire fight say, undoubtedly saves lives.

Of course, that only works when the chip is actually inside the officer. It also begs the question, that if the officer needs to go undercover, how do you go about turning it off?


Main Article on Chrysalis

VR Interfaces: The Heliodisplay

Large Image Display:Chrysalis: Natural User Interface in Paperwork

Dictionary: GPS

The man with the RFID arm