Zurich launches drive-in prostitution plan


A series of wooden sheds have been constructed in Zurich, Switzerland as part of an initiative to regulate prostitution.

They look like garages or shelters but are being called by the locals ‘drive-in sex boxes’.

The idea is that men wanting to pay for sex can drive into one of the sheds having picked up a prostitute from an approved area.

Project director Michael Herzig said the boxes should improve security for sex workers.

“We’ve had a problem here which has been getting worse over the last few years, especially regarding Roma women, some of whom were being forced into prostitution. This was a degrading situation which we really had to stop.”

It is hoped the sex boxes will persuade prostitutes to sell their services away from residential areas, in a safe environment – the sheds are all equipped with alarms.

“This solution has several advantages: the support service for the women is better because we are directly here on site. The infrastructure is better. The women can come to us and use the shower and the toilets. We can talk to them without other people listening and the area is closed and observable,” said Ursula Kocher, of the Flora Dora centre for women:

The million euro project was approved by voters in Zurich last year in a referendum. The site is only open to drivers of cars and will operate from early evening until 5am each day.


Drive-in Sex Booths to Open in Zurich

zurichsex booth


Zurich city officials hope to have new sex booths, similar to those pictured above that are currently used in Germany, by August

There will be enough booths constructed on the outskirts of the city to accommodate around 30 prostitutes.

City officials hope the booths, which will come with inbuilt panic alarms, will be ready for launch in August.

An on-site counsellor will also be provided in the taxpayer funded scheme.

It is hoped the move will help make the sex industry much safer and more regulated, ABC News reported.

Prostitution will be banned in certain parts of the city and confined to the booths and two other zones after they open in August.

Michael Herzig, spokesperson for Zurich Social Welfare Department, said: ‘The big difference is that until now prostitution is in a public space.

‘Now we are going to change this, transfer it from the street, from a public to a private space to an old industrial area which belongs to the city that give us the possibility to define the rules of prostitution in this space.

‘The women will be better protected from attack, and it will also mean better business for them.

‘With the women right by the sex boxes there is no “travel time” so they can deal with more customers. It’s a better business model than standing on the street.’

Prostitutes will also have to apply for a £26 licence, register with a health insurer and buy a ticket each night for about £3 before they begin soliciting customers from January onwards.

Social Welfare Department officials said the plan is ‘progressing’ and is ready to enter into full-force in the New Year.

Disney Is ‘Face Cloning’ People to Create Terrifyingly Realistic Robots

The Hall of Presidents is about to get a whole lot creepier, at least if Disney’s researchers get their way. That’s because they’re “face cloning” people at a lab in Zurich in order to create the most realistic animatronic characters ever made.

First of all, yes, Disney has a laboratory in Zurich. It’s one of six around the world where the company researches things like computer graphics, 3D technology and, I can only assume, how to most efficiently suck money out of your pocket when you visit Disneyworld.

What does “physical face cloning” involve? Researchers used video cameras to capture several expressions on a subject’s face, recreating them in 3D computer models down to individual wrinkles and facial hair. They then experimented with different thicknesses of silicon for each part of the face until they could create a mold for the perfect synthetic skin.

They slapped that silicone skin on a 3D-printed model of the subject’s head to create their very own replicant. As the authors of the study point out (PDF), it’s not all that different from creating a 3D model for a Pixar movie, except that in real life you have to worry about things like materials and the motors that make the face change expressions.

The plan is to develop a “complete process for automating the physical reproduction of a human face on an animatronics device,” meaning all you’ll have to do in the future is record a person’s face and the computer will do the rest. This is a different process than the one used to make the famous Geminoid robots from Osaka University, whose skin is individually crafted by artists through trial and error.

The next step is developing more advanced actuators and multi-layered synthetic skin to give the researchers more degrees of freedom in mimicking facial expressions. That means next time you go on the Pirates of the Caribbean ride, don’t be surprised to see a terrifyingly realistic Johnny Depp-bot cavorting with an appropriately dead-eyed Orlando Bloom.

Read more: http://techland.time.com/2012/08/15/disney-is-face-cloning-people-to-create-terrifyingly-realistic-robots/?iid=tl-article-latest#ixzz23fBwVu61