Week 5 Research and Progress

Posted by BMadmin on Monday Oct 1, 2007 Under Uncategorized

Last week I finished Steve Mann’s ‘Cyborg’ and was really interested by some of his ideas and his experiences in being a cyborg. I find that Mann is definitely anti-surveillance and very skeptical of corporate and government controls. Definitely the views held by any good cyberpunk!

Anyway, I watched through the Kodak Lecture by Joanna Berzowska and got some good ideas about what is going on in the wearables field right now and some good theory related to fashion and technology.

  • Clothing and Language were developed as we developed into humans
  • Clothing is a historic signifier of wealth, status, profession, identity, etc. It is our most common personal expression

Most wearable technology in the area of media seems to be steered towards interconnecting consumer electronics and is not really doing much to counteract the erosion of physical and social contact.

I’ve been sending out e-mails to Steve Mann, Deb Fels, Joey Berzowska, etc. to get in contact with them and get some help and feedback on my project. I want to be sure I’m not doing something already done and something that is way above my time and skills. Read More

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A short consideration

Posted by BMadmin on Tuesday Oct 2, 2007 Under Uncategorized

Since doing a lot of research about wearable technology, I’ve come to the conclusion that my project needs a little more edge.

The first thing that came to mind is maybe building or using a cellphone RF frequency jammer. The problem with this is they are veryillegal. If caught I could get a maximum $5,000 fine and 1 year in jail, which the idea of jail isn’t a promising aspect, but I’m not sure I can risk my immediate future on something like that.

Read More

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Week 6

Posted by BMadmin on Tuesday Oct 9, 2007 Under Uncategorized

Holy crap! A new wi-fi wearable has hit the market!

Unfortunately it looks like my collaboration with the fashion students will not be possible, since my project doesn’t really fit into their criteria or their own project timelines. So after I finalize my determination on what technology I will be using I will focus again on the appearance and possibilities for making my wearable.

I was speaking to a friend of mine the other day about my project and what the latest concept / developments were. I wanted to do something maybe a little edgy and disruptive, but after discovering how illegal it was and discussing the fact that even being disruptive or annoying wouldn’t really be a good way to achieved my idea of using mobile technology for public interaction.  We talked about the difference between my rural life experience and her life experience growing up in the city; People in the city choose to insulate themselves with a cellphone/ipods because they don’t wish to be harassed by strangers, promotors or beggars.

Like discussed in Georg Simmel’s “The Metropolis and Mental Life”, the 7th section deals with the mental attitude of people who live in the city. “Partly this psychological fact, partly the right to distrust which men have in the face of the touch-and-go elements of metropolitan life, necessitates our reserve.” So in order to overcome the technological barriers that mobile technology offers, I must first over come the social conditioning of the average city dweller.

All of this has brought me to my latest concept to pull off this project. Which is to literally become the medium of mobile  technology.

I could rig up a system where people could hook up thier cells/ipods/whatever to my wearable system and use them ‘off’ of me.

The second idea is that I would already have those devices embedded in a wearable system and people could control how they were used. (eg. Someone could make a phone call by talking at/through me and I’d have mics and speakers rigged up) I could also have some cosmetic lighting effects that would occur depending on the level or length of interaction.

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Week 7 – Running Mann

Posted by BMadmin on Tuesday Oct 16, 2007 Under Uncategorized

I posted my Proposal on Friday

I’m still trying to set up a meeting with Steve Mann, with not very much luck so far 🙁
I’ve got a few more leads to try, a lot of people know him, but he’s a hard guy to get ahold of! Hopefully one of them comes through and I can interview him for my Artist Interview.

I met with Steve Daniels today and got some really good input about my project and how I should start going about my prototyping, etc. He also told me to consider how this project would go off as a performative piece since I am interacting with people socially. I also have to consider more deeply why I want to include both musical and communication components of the project.

I also met wit Deb Fels and got to see some of the interesting stuff she is working on for deaf people. She also forwarded me to a guy by the name of Thad Starner who does Cyborg work down at Georgia Tech. So I’ve sent an e-mail down to him as well to get some possible feedback from him as well.

Lastly I hit on the idea of making my wearable look and work sort of similar to Soundwave from Transformers

I think it would be kind of cool to integrate the old tape ejector style into a holding place for an mp3 player.

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Week 8 – Great Week!

Posted by BMadmin on Monday Oct 29, 2007 Under Uncategorized

I was so busy last week that I didn’t really have time to update the ole’ project blog. First and Foremost is I finally got a hold of Steve Mann!!!

From: Steve Mann
Date: October 23, 2007 3:51:39 PM EDT (CA)
Subject: Cyborg; Intelligent Image Processing, etc..

Thank you for your interest in my work and writings
(it’s great that you found Cyborg to be of interest;
there’s some metadata in http://wearcam.org/cyborg.htm)

In reference to Kodak Lecture series… I gave a Kodak
Lecture at Ryerson some years ago (I’m not sure if
there’s any video of the lecture around Ryerson, but
maybe you can find it if there is…).

Since you’re also looking at specific implementation
details you might find my other book,
to be of interest as well…

Additionally, Google search on “sousveillance”
will give you some updates on recent work on
surveillance and sousveillance and the relation
between them, etc..

You might also want to join our community of more
than 20,000 “cyborgs” at http://glogger.mobi

Easiest way, if you don’t have a wearable cameraphone
(EyeTap, http://eyetap.org) yet is to join using a
standard hand-held cameraphone, so you get an idea
what the lifestyle is like, etc..

There’s various other papers, like:

which may be of interest.

Maybe we can do an interview over ‘glogger (over cyborgspace),
as participation in ‘glogger is a new and interesting way
of interacting.

Quite different from a phone interview;
more existential in some sense.

Another good contact at Rye is ANV (Anastasios
Venetsanopoulos). He’s a real genius polymath
type, with a strong interest in imaging as well
as fine-arts and fundamental philosophical
questions in the fine-arts.

Best regards,

So that was really exciting, I then went on to set-up a meeting with Steve
I’m away, and I’ll also soon be away from email (unreachable)
but I’ll still be checking my ‘glog (http://glogger.mobi)
so you can continue to reach me through the ‘glog.

Meanwhile, if you need to interview someone immediately,
Raymond Lo, one of my students, might be able to be
interviewed and could explain ‘glogger and our cyborglogging

Best regards,

So yeah, that’s about where I am with that. I am trying to set up a meeting with Raymond and see where I can go from there. I will have to draw up a list of questions and hopefully between Raymond and Steve I can get enough ideas and experience to move forward with my project and presentation.

Secondly as just as exciting was that on Wednesday I met with my Artist/Illustrator friend Kent Burles. He has worked on a number of Sci-fi and Fantasy roleplaying games and he is helping me visualize my project with some illustrations. We talked about what my project is about, how it works and the influences behind it. He will be a great addition to add the element of fantasy into my project, whereas other sources have been mostly mainly artistic and scientific.

I can’t wait to see what he comes up with!

I also met with Lila and she thought my Proposal was fairly well done, just that I should update it with more positive language and make a few corrections.

So overall a very productive week! I want to get rolling on my Prototype soon, so hopefully Sony-Ericsson will come through with a few phones I can have to experiment with. I have been in touch with the Ericsson Montreal office and they have put me in touch with the Sony-Ericsson office here in Toronto.

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