Wednesday, 13 May 2015

Day 2 at Smart Fabrics

Day 2 was lovely, filled with all sorts of ideas and considerations about what this space looks like from multiple perspectives.  Today was a much more hopeful day for the future of the technology- but still has me asking the same questions about meaning.

One of the most fascinating talks was by Amanda Boxtel of Bridging Bionics and Scott Summit of 3DS.  This talk was about the idea of exoskeletons, and Amanda had something so lovely and poignant to ask about design in this space.

"How can we design beauty into robotics rather than mechanization into humanity?" I believe that this is the crux of all of this type of work - making it not only possible, but also desirable, and to ensure that there is meaning in the development instead of just another gadget.  The video below I stole from Victor, is Amanda demonstrating the exoskeleton.

We also heard from Dr Christian Holz of Yahoo labs, who is looking into the possibilities surrounding implanting technology - and the surprising outcomes of some very interesting ethnographic research around public perception of the new behaviours that may result from implanting technology - the surprising outcome was that no one noticed or even cared.  Now there are still many technical difficulties in the development of this technology which he of course touched on including the input possibilities, output possibilities, the communication structures needed, how do we power these devices, and of course the medical implications of this type of new technology.

No comments: