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Came across this thoughtful illustration by Ioan Cozacu today on Twitter. A genius idea! At the rate at which technology in invading our culture, not too long when a gallery opening is about QR codes.
Love it!

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Not so long ago, when Nicole Scherzinger wore the Twitter dress to an event, the world stood up and took notice. In this spirit of fashion and technology Vera Wang designed Bioluminescent Couture, a collection inspired by luminescent jellyfish, using custom electroluminescence panels on dresses. The CO2 sensing climate dress by InfraBodies is also a good example to illustrate environmental concepts  through science and fashion.

Is science the new black?

Technology is no more for the science savvy geeks but for the party hopping, fashion loving, ‘cool’ gangs. But the question arises, in this age when a mobile device, laptop or a tablet is an extension of our selves, does a sci-fi fabric make the cut? Wearable technology is not restricted to fabrics and devices. It has made it’s foray into our everyday lives, into our bodies. The Nike Fuel band, Google Glass, Samsung Galaxy Gear, Pebble smart watch. You name it and we’ve adopted science in every sense of the way. Researchers at Fabrica have developed an accessory to control thoughts via neuro-imaging. Though the technology is currently being researched and developed, it aims  to read and record the thoughts of people and detect ill intentions before they are carried out. Materials scientist John Rogers has developed flexible electronic circuits that stick directly to the skin [like temporary tattoos] and monitor the user’s health. London designer Shamees Aden’s Protocells trainer is a project in progress. A 3D-printed trainer to the exact size of the user’s foot that would fit like a second skin. It would react to pressure and movement created when running, puffing up to provide extra cushioning where required.

That brings me to the question, what is it that makes us give up natural control and make us want to handover gears to technology?

Are we naturally technology dependent?

wearable-tech

A study on wearable technology from the Centre for Creative and Social Technology at Goldsmiths, University of London, found that 71% Americans and 63% Brits said that wearable tech has ‘improved’ their health and fitness. As scary as it might be, according to a research conducted at Stanford University, people are 26% more active when they’re being monitored. In his book Thinking, Fast and Slow, psychologist Daniel Kahneman explains that human beings are intuitive statisticians. “We are unable to accurately interpret experience as data.” Technology on the other hand quantifies data and promises to transform our understanding of ourselves.

The answer to how far we trust our devices maybe lies in their interaction. As Cory Booth, a Human Factors Engineer in Intel’s User Experience Group puts it, the future may lie in designing devices and experiences that seamlessly fit into the fabric of people’s lives. In the co-evolution of human and machine, singularity of the entities is of utmost importance. Whether tracking daily activities, providing us with cohesive information or controlling other connected electronics in our lives, complex sensors and micro-displays have become our way of life. We’re stepping into the realm of the cyborg.

In the words of Neil Harbisson, “Life will be much more exciting when we stop creating applications for mobile phones and we start creating applications for our own body.”

But before we become cyborgs, we have to get comfortable with the idea of wearable technology. Smart glasses, wearable computers and skin-mounted sensors will soon replace that cell phone, Swiss watch or a wool coat.

image credit: businessnewsdaily.com

I remember the early days in my advertising career when the Creative Director would occasionally break into spurts of wisdom and bellow “Content is King!” and we’d drown our brains into storming it’s most unfrequented parts to come up with an award winning idea. Long gone are those days and long lost is the crown which now possibly is in possession of the court Jester [think funny men on Twitter].

In this age of constant content generation and instant, free distribution, anyone and everyone is a publisher and broadcaster. Quantity has superseded quality. Alarming as it maybe, while traditional media still works in the prescribed hierarchy, the new media is where the King has lost his crown. Personalized Youtube channels, Vine, Twitter accounts, Facebook brand pages, Instagram feeds give the humble user a power over the editor.
I cannot think of a better example of this than the humble beginnings of our beloved internet sensation, Justin Bieber. Bieber, who released his debut album, My World, in November 2009, went from an unknown singer whose mother posted YouTube clips of her boy performing, to a budding superstar with a record deal in just two years.

Has the advent of this new media given rise to commoditised publishing?

“In a culture like ours, long accustomed to splitting and dividing all things as a means of control, it is sometimes a bit of a shock to be reminded that, in operational and practical fact, the medium is the message. This is merely to say that the personal and social consequences of any medium – that is, of any extension of ourselves – result from the new scale that is introduced into our affairs by each extension of ourselves, or by any new technology.” McLuhan in Understanding Media.

Once upon a time content equated to an award, now it’s just a filler.