In can either be incredibly exciting or deeply creepy news, soon you’ll be able to fire up a browser and take an overhead look at your own house–live. This amazing functionality has been in the works for a while, but finally got an release estimate today. By Spring 2013 everyone will be able to watch feeds from one of two high-definition cameras installed on the International Space Station through the internet. One camera will remain fixed and the other will swivel around, so unlike Google Maps, it you won’t be able to choose exactly where you want to view. But ISS orbits Earth 10 times a day, so you’ll certainly get your chance on the next orbit.
The cameras are designed and manufactured by UrtheCast, a startup that wants you to pronounce its name “Earth-Cast.” In the next few months, Russian Cosmonauts will install the two cameras on the underside of ISS. UrtheCast claims that one onscreen pixel will be equivalent to 3.3 feet, which is about the detail offered by Google Maps. But unlike Google Maps, these images are live.
While this is extremely cool news, there are some pretty major privacy aspects to consider. One’s first thought goes immediately to tracking celebrities. Some nations may not want people to see aerial photos of their county. And those with creepy exes obviously have room for concern. But the potential is amazing–you could check up on extended family, watch the red tide live, oreven keep tabs on traffic in your city. Or, at the very least, gain some cosmic perspective from your couch.
Seen at: Popular Mechanics