By Aidan Mouellic, Contributor
In an age when CCTV cameras dot every street corner, our privacy is at an all-time low. That’s why a Vancouver company is taking matters into its own hands and has come out with a new product that will hopefully help people reclaim their privacy. The company manufactures and distributes a portable privacy shelter, or as they call it, a PPS. The “shelter” is a modified umbrella that has shown through vigorous testing to effectively hide a person’s identity from CCTV cameras and curious onlookers.
Jim Brown, the owner of the manufacturing company says that the idea for the product came to him when he was cheating on his wife in public. He says that when he was out in public with other women, he was always afraid that someone might see him or photograph him. The product he has created looks like a regular umbrella and functions like one too, except for a small curtain that drops around the edges of the umbrella to fully conceal whoever is underneath. Brown also states that the material he uses is thicker than most umbrellas so that CCTV cameras cannot see through the top.
The demand for the PPS has been high since Brown appeared on a recent episode of Dragons’ Den looking for investment dollars; the Dragons scoffed at Brown’s product and said that it reminded them of the tinfoil hat craze of yesteryear. However, that didn’t deter Brown.
“Those tinfoil hats did almost nothing to protect you from external forces of evil. My Portable Privacy Shelter protects you against the voyeurs in society and also from UV rays and the rain. This is perhaps the most important product to hit the market since the iPod!”
The PPS devices are made locally and the factory employs over a dozen workers. The Other Press interviewed one of the factory’s employees, who wished to remain anonymous, and said that he had been forced by his manager to use the device in public for a trial experiment. When he walked into a bank wearing the PPS, a security guard shot him with a taser.
Brown says that even though there are risks to using the PPS in some areas, he still stands by his product and says “My employee was assaulted for no reason. Sure, it might have looked bizarre to have someone walk into a bank using my product, but that guard shouldn’t have tazed him!”
It is yet to be seen how popular the PPS will be, but Brown is reportedly making a profit and will have soon sold his 10,000th PPS. “My largest market is Los Angeles. The celebrities love the PPS because it shields them from the paparazzi and their spouses,” says Brown. Privacy is at an all-time low, but only time will tell if the PPS will reach all-time high sales numbers.