Monday, November 25, 2002

Horizon 4 - ubiquitous, wireless and wearable computing

In May, I attended the Banff New Media Institute's Intimate Technologies/Dangerous Zones Summit. I had an ugly flu, and couldn't be nearly as sociable as I would have liked - so I didn't have the best of times...

Don't get me wrong - I met some great people!

Sha Xin Wei's work at GeorgiaTech's Topological Media Lab (along with sponge and foAm) is fascinating, and I thank him for always responding to my questions.

Maggie Orth and Joey Berzowska are doing amazing work at International Fashion Machines. And I was really impressed by Orth's dissertation (MIT Media Lab).

Sue Jenkins Jones was kind enough to send CDs of her work and the Textiles Futures program at Central Saint Martins College of Art & Design, in London. Very cool.

Ingrid Bachman's Interactive Textile Group at Hexagram (currently offline for updates) seems to be doing wonderful things, but, despite occassionally finding myself in Montreal, I have yet to manage a visit. In her presentation, she discussed a scarf she wove - the loom's movements were directed by seismographic information - and the resulting patterns on the scarf could be successfully read by seismologists. I thought about this earthquake scarf for weeks, and somewhere in my stacks of paper is an essay I wrote about it and the performance of science.

And the list goes on... I had never seen computing mesh so clearly with my ideas as did the work on interactive textiles! Voluptuous, intimate... beautiful.

But I have to admit I wasn't very interested in the discussions on surveillance ("dangerous zones") - with the exception of Konrad Becker's crazy-cool presentation on technology and social control. Steve Mann came at us through the ether and it was just disappointing...

SO - drawing on this conference, the latest edition of Horizon Zero looks at the public/private aspects of ubiquitous, wireless and wearable computing. All sorts of interesting stuff.
AND - I'd love to hear from people who recently attended either Ubicomp or Doors - is there any overlap between these discussions and what you saw?

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