Alden’s ITP Home

Shodan Stories Day 47: Looking at Feet in Tokyo

I’m busy preparing for a trip today and running errands so a quick one today. I found another Steven Wu webcam entirely by accident, just browsing Shodan’s webserver snapshots (see day 38 if Steven Wu doesn’t ring a bell). I like the Steven Wu cameras. The very simple interface, the snapshot approach. Feels right.

IP Camera on

The camera’s webserver is running on port 81. Specifically what interested me about this webcam was its area of focus. Why would anyone want a video feed of this specific angle of this sidewalk? If it’s a security camera it won’t help much if you can’t see most peoples’ faces. Maybe it’s a camera for pedestrian appreciation. Wouldn’t that be nice. Maybe there is a walking club, or a shoe appreciation society. Maybe a group lives in this area and they wear little tags on their shoes, and their friends and relatives check in on this camera hoping to catch a glimpse of a familiar foot. Maybe it’s a researcher, an urban planner, doing a study on pedestrian traffic, just on this particular sidewalk. There might be a data logger attached, the data could be capture via other means, but the research team thought it’d be cute if they could check in and peep at their spot of pavement. Maybe, though, it’s just someone’s driveway. Maybe the camera got bent, and nobody’s checked it in awhile. Maybe a homeowner set it up years ago and forgot about it, the house has been sold, the new owners don’t know the IP. No eager shoe enthusiasts. No one hoping to spot their friends and relatives. No wistful researchers. We’ll never know. See you tomorrow.