Recently in health Category

If you're reading this, then you haven't yet been distracted by the eyeball picture. I applaud you. I also applaud the merging of technology and fashion that resulted in this limited edition phone (only 99 are being made) from Motorola and designer Vivienne Westwood.

This is exactly the type of product I've been waiting for, and I'm extremely excited about the possibilities that this type of partnership may lead to in the future as we move beyond gadgets and on to garments.

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My interest in wearables is mostly limited to things worn on, not in, the body, but I just couldn't resist including the "JewelEye". God help me if I ever decide to have jewelry implanted in my eyeball, but apparently there's a waiting list of people who are up for it. The procedure takes only 15 minutes (!) and is said to have no side effects. I can only imagine that this will pave the way for more functional eyeball implants such as miniaturized displays. Eeesh.

- Both items via notes from somewhere bizarre, a very cool site.

Strangely familiar

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The Carnegie Museum of Art is currently hosting an exhibit called Strangely Familiar: Design and Everyday Life. From the exhibit brochure: "Design is a paradoxical presence in our lives, both invisible and conspicuous, familiar and strange. It surrounds us but fades from view, becomes second nature yet remains seemingly unknowable. Broadly conceived as the world of human-made artifacts, design is literally everywhere. Despite this ubiquity, we seldom experience objects, messages, and spaces to provoke deeper questions about how we choose to live..."

The projects in Strangely Familiar rethink the traditional role of design in everyday life. A few are particularly relevant to the topics of fashion and technology.

The Transformables line of clothing from C.P. Company consists of protective rain garments that transform into items such as a tent, kite, or inflatable armchair. (To view the line, click through their homepage to the archive.)

From the Fortune Cookies design group comes Felt 12x12, small gray felt squares that consumers can combine in ways that suit their own needs or styles. The group believes that "a designer's role in society is to create a framework, within which consumers can define shape and form for themselves." Watch their movie and see creations that range from aprons and hats to hot dog holders.

The Placebo Project is an investigation into people's attitudes towards electromagnetic fields. The Nipple Chair has two protrusions in the back that vibrate when the chair is in an electromagnetic field. The 25 compasses set into the top of the Compass Table spin when a cell phone is placed on it. The Electro-draught Excluder, though it looks like it might protect you from electromagnetic fields, actually does nothing but induce strange behavior as you try to hide behind it.

If you're not able to experience this fantastic exhibit in person, buy the book.

the hum of technology

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I arrived in New York last night for ISWC. When I walked into my hotel room, I was confronted with a loud, high-pitched hum -- one that really would have kept me up all night. I was able to move to another room where the noise has a lower pitch and is slightly quieter, but it's still there.

Turns out the hum is residual noise from the parking garages and two large shopping malls that surround the hotel. If the electricity from these facilities creates noise that disturbs me on a conscious level, I wonder what the sub-conscious and cellular effects are... As someone who wants to put electronics all over the body, this really disturbs me.

I've checked the conference program, and no one is discussing the health considerations of wearable electronic or wireless devices. This disturbs me even more.

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