TECHNOLOGICAL MASHUPS – building HiFi wearables

Text in The Virtual Dimension: Architecture, Representation, and Crash Culture, Editor John Beckmann, 1998.
By Stahl Stenslie. Summary of the text. To read the full text follow this link.

 

The state of the art in digital technologies allows for tools to help prototyping interactive artifacts much faster than ever before. Even if many of those might not be ready for entering the everyday life, they become relevant pieces within the art and design fields. This paper explores the creation of wearable artifacts including digital intelligence with the ability of getting/serving information feeds from/to the internet and bringing them to live as haptic feedback patterns on wearables. We hereby present a way to quickly deploy wearable sensor networks that will either give physical feedback to the user or broadcast that information to a remote location. We will focus in where to host the intelligence of the system, and how to implement the communication between the different devices in our suggested design solution. This technological mash-up of several hardware and software parts, can be used to create everything from art pieces to medical devices. The systems should be able of operating by themselves but also give control to external flows of commands.

During the last years our research has focused on the creation of high-fidelity prototypes. The artifacts we create range from wearable sculptures to solar powered handbags. The aim behind these objects is not as much to emulate the real functionality of a potential everyday life device as analyzing the experience of having this object. In other words, we research how to prototype the user experience by means of interactive objects that resemble real life ones, or that could eventually become everyday objects. We have been studying existing prototyping platforms and we have concluded that the best alternative to create wearble interactive objects consists in a mash-up of a series of open source tools: an Android mobile platform, an Arduino board, and a piece of Java software. We will release all of our tools in the public domain, and we want this paper to be an explanation of the system, the needs that triggered its design and the decisions we took.

Links:
Link to the full text
Program of the Interactive Media Art Conference (IMAC), 2011
The proceedings of the IMAC 2011

 

To read the full text follow this link.

 

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