I met Laszlo Kovacs, Director of C/Punk/Doc through the amazing forums @ Cyberpunk Review. He invited me to submit media just as they were wrapping production, so we have a 1.5 minute segment on my Wearable and Nomadic Computing work that begins Act 2. Narration is by Hawk from American Gladiators, over the song Teenage Hitman by Encephalon. Thank you Wood, Keypixel, and my other fellow Cyberpunks.
I've been meaning to say hi to everyone I met at the 2nd BIL Conference and thanks for tuning in. It was a great networking weekend for the wearable computing community in LA. We want to put together a non-con AKA un-conference like Mobile Camp. Maybe we'll spin off Steve Mann's term for a wearable computer; WearComp, and call our non-con WearCamp or WearComp Camp. I'll write more later on some excellent BIL talks and interactions about Wearable Computing, Cyborg, and H+ soon. I want to gather some photos, video, and audio together to help share the phun.
Via Hackaday, the 25th Chaos Communication Congress's Wearable Computing and Solar Power presentations roused me from blog hibernation to say Happy Holidays and please don't text and drive. For abstracts, lecture notes, slides, and links, you too can veer off; About Cyborgs and Gargoyles:State of the Art in Wearable Computing, and Solar-powering your Geek Gear: Alternative and mobile power for all your little toys.
New Year's greetings from under a rock. No, I haven't been in the desert lately, but I have been in other realms. I've been getting into some high voltage shenanigans, the splendid forums at Cyberpunk Review, back into microcontrollers with the Seeeduino, interfacing it with Pure Data, and touring exhibition and interactive design. 2009 is looking to be hacktastic, but more on that next year.
via Make Blog
In the video link above, Sean Montgomery presents his EEG multicolored LED hat, ECG shirt, and GSR bracelet. Respectfully, they sense and visulize brainwave, heart rate, and skin conductivity.
This is the work I exhibited at Maker Faire this Spring. I've been hacking my Archos PMA-430 into wearable computer prototypes for 2 years, and hacking my Nokia N95 for about 9 months. The top image shows a video feed from my Nokia to my Archos, while the image below it shows the unhoused wiring that adds functionality such as USB connectivity and power.
Systems integration is designed for field-reconfigurability and use of ubiquitous technologies such as USB ports and ethernet or phone cables. I can charge both devices from AC, my motorcycle, its solar panel, or even a random computer in any number of libraries, cafes, etc. The two devices link up through a retractable 8-conductor ethernet cable, although I can use a multitude of available cords. The green terminal blocks allow field connections without soldering, since I believe the universal connector is bare wire if no adaptors are nearby.
I have hundreds of images of my work, and lots to write about, so there will be much more ahead. Just a Heads-Up.
Come meet Nym and I and bring your wearables! We're here to profile and promote the community's work on this site, so let's meet, get some media, and get it up here. Come out, come out, wherever you are!
I'll be exhibiting my latest in the Wearaware collection.
More roving telepresence hacks from the brothers!
I haven't been posting much, but I have been researching, developing, rapid prototyping, and hacking. I'm applying my love of desert camping, travel, wearable technology, and embedded computing to my urban flagship; a duosport motorcycle. Here's a first look:
This photo shows items I transformed into a top case and a tank bag.
While commuting, the top case can hold gear from errands. While touring, it can carry as much gas a my tank holds plus water. I can remove it anytime. This allows off-roading without extra fuel sloshing around in an enlarged tank. It is made from an LP case, and stability tests will determine if it's indeed more versatile than a top case and replacement gas tank; easily at a savings of at least $200.
The tank bag is made from a folding map case, magnets, and wiring. It's appropriate that it holds my phone with GPS, a non-networked highway infrastructure computer, compass and pencil pack, map, and a solar battery charger for my bike and auuxilliary device battery. I'm sure it'll still also hold an actual paper map or two. I can't find many tank bags with top map pockets that will fit my sloped gas tank. So, I made a form-fitting one that mostly multplies the functionality of the feature I wanted most anyway; a large map pocket.
Due out late next year is O'Neill Europe's jacket with some kind of integral, flexible display in the sleeve and audio in the hood. Using embedded GIS, they would provide navigation, weather, and friend-location information as well as spoken directions down a mountain.
Here, I will focus on two approaches to systems integration quoting this article.
1) "Aleks Ristic, VP Marketing of MyGuide is convinced that GPS will play an important role in future wearable technology. 'The partnership with O’Neill allows us to leverage our GPS know-how into new market segments. We with co-development of the NavJacket, we are expanding our product range from car navigation into outdoor usage, where navigation is just one application of our technology.'
2) "Using your mobile phone connected to the GPS unit, 3D views of the resorts as well as points of interest throughout the resort will also be available." Which mobile phones do they mean, and how do they propose to connect them? Does this mean that the phone display will be required for such views? GPS does not provide graphics, so the wireless services available at a resort may certainly differ from those available at more remote locations where personal, real-time navigation might be more appreciated.
Does the engineering provide for the possibility to route your music to the sonic hood without hacking the jacket? This brings me to compare multi-use hand-held gadgets like graphics-capable mobile phones and apparel such as Burton's iPod jacket that is also designed for winter sports. If the O'Neill Jacket is being marketed with capabilities that can be added by a third-party mobile phone, why not just extend the multi-use capability of phones? This includes extending the controls, audio, and some kind of visual output; even if it's just LEDs driven by the phone's IR or BT transceiver. Rather, the choice was made to integrate some technology into the jacket in a proprietary sort of way.
While it makes sense to collaborate, proposed expandability via mobile phone acknowledges their power, modularity; not to mention their ubiquity. Although, since GIS is not a standard feature on mobile phones, this collaboration tries to assure GIS as the primary feature of the jacket. It would seem that expandability is tertiary to other navigation features. Again, depending on the systems integration, using the audio capability of the hood to play music would be an afterthought, if not impossible without some cutting, splicing, and sewing.
The flexible display seems cool, and I'd love to see it in action. There is still a difference between wearable technology and wearable computing. Since this design brings up the expandability that comes from incorporating a cellphone into the systems architecture, it supports the cellphone as a platform for mobile computing. My work includes hacking multi-function, expandable mobile devices to be more wearable, even if it means adding to the hand-held form-factor to reduce the reliance on the hands.
I've read many critiques that both wearable computers and wearable technologies have niche markets. I feel this effect is perpetuated by architectures with proprietary embedded technologies, and designs with only a few possible use scenarios.
[link via engadget]
Here's another implementation of Kopin displays, and the whole HMD is about $200. Myvu's Solo also works with an iPod Touch. Kopin displays were also used in the SpyCar HMD, as well as many others.
[link via MAKE blog]
Although our name was inspired by Snow Crash, in Neuromancer, "The Panther Modern leader, who introduced himself as Lupus Yonderboy, wore a polycarbon suit with a recording feature that allowed him to replay backgrounds at will. Perched on the edge of Case's worktable like some sort of state of the art gargoyle", I also found read about his Mimetic Polycarbon Suit here while searching around for artists' concepts of him.
Technovelgy.com describes the its namesake as: "Creative ideas and inventions of science fiction writers". This definition was enough to make me think about my concept of 'invention'. The first link also provides a link to one of many projects working on wearable chameleon technology.
Lion Of The Sun's custom creations are literally fantastic! Some masks include color and infrared vision systems, articulated ears and jaws, and boosted hearing to simulate the senses and movements of the animals they model. It's also practical, since foam and faux fur materials tend to inhibit the wearers' senses already. From standalone ears and tails, to headpieces and full body suits, expression through play as real-life avatars is by design. Lionel's site has oodles of animals and plenty of pictures, so crawl around!
A wearable device for Gordan Savicic's "Constraint City: The Pain of Everyday Life", includes: "A chest strap (corset) with high torque servo motors and a WIFI-enabled game-console are worn as fetish object. The higher the wireless signal strength of close encrypted networks, the tighter the corset becomes." Whether it is meant to be painful or pleasurable seems unclear.
I suggest exploring the link below to glean the project's conceptual background. I find its discourse reminiscent of Stelarc's. I do share the artist's interest in sensing the electromagentic waves permeating our environment; even to the extent of mapping it to haptic feedback. However, regarding the restriction of the public through normally undetectable information layers, I do not share his tenet that secure WiFi networks are as actively constrictive as this project asserts. Perhaps wireless security cameras and traffic lights are even more controling than secure WiFi, since private citizens should have the right to encrypt their networks from the public without suspicion of conspiracy.
[2007 Playa map links via BoingBoing]
"The VanityRing doesn't have a jewel, instead it shows the number of hits one gets, when he searches Google for the name of the person who wears it, a more adequate value in our time. It is personalized using a custom software, and after the name is typed the ring will change its display to show the personal "attention carats", while every night, when it is inserted into its docking station the ring is reloaded and updated."
To play with this notion in relation to links, blogs, and viral media, I'll let you click here for the designers' name. Why not? It's just a link, which I found via Make: Blog, posted by Jonah Brucker-Cohen, who linked it via information aesthetics. I'm "RoBo", and Google isn't case-sensitive even when you use quotes. robo what? Not exactly.
It's like that movie The Jerk, where Navin proclaims: "Page 73 - Johnson, Navin R.! I'm somebody now! Millions of people look at this book everyday! This is the kind of spontaneous publicity - your name in print - that makes people. I'm in print! Things are going to start happening to me now." Thanks IMDB. The Web isn't necessarily in print, but you can print out part of it. A blog isn't in print, but we do aspire to leveraging it's advantages by updating iGargoyle more often than we have been. I've Googled people and only found their entry in an online phone book. But even then, knowing their location, be it their city or street, would help you find the right phone number. One of Goggle's many services involves geography now. I'll give you some keywords to search for yourself, using the engine of your choice: "Paul Virilio" and "Big Optics". Why? Sometimes, it's all about context. Remember, according to Navin R. Johnson: "I am not a bum. I'm a jerk."
Sony has come out with this cute OLED display made out of plastic and metal. As the video shows, it looks pretty good, although I can't imagine these being very nice to wear yet.
Sony took the wraps off its prototype on Thursday and released an impressive video showing the display being bent to form a semi-circle while still displaying a moving video image. The 2.5-inch display has a resolution of 160 pixels by 120 pixels making it a little larger than the typical cell phone screen and a little lower resolution.
Sony also says these new displays are rugged, which in terms of technology on the go, is really valuable. The iPhones look very cool, but I'm not about to pay $500 for something that can be destroyed in a heartbeat.