It is remarkable to think that only a few dozens of years ago, the wireless communication was equated to a miracle and that near-every household was connected by a wire. These pictures of New York and Stockholm date to late 19th century before these telephone wires were berried underground away from the elements, but they are still an excellent illustration of human drive to stay in touch with each other. One could only wish there was a way to visualize the wireless connections that are all around us now.
Far from being an invention of the twenty first century, technological wearables devices have been a part of our cultural heritage for almost five hundred years. This a precursor of a wrist watch as an earliest known dated watch. It was made in 1530 for a humanist Philipp Melanchthon by an unknown German artisan. It is thought to originate in Augsburg, and currently resigns in the collection of The Walters Museum of Art in Baltimore Maryland. And whats particular remarkable: this beautifully crafted technological marvel is still capable of keeping time.
One of the Modern Keepsakes, called The Distant Heart will be featured at the V&A's Digital Design Weekend as a part of the London Design Festival.
The Distant Heart is a computational necklace, developed as a part of the research into rectifying the emotional void created when families, friends and loved ones move away from each other. By tapping into the emerging infrastructure of the Internet of Things, the necklace wirelessly receives real-time heartbeat data from a paired device, and interprets it into the affective expressions, embedded into the necklace.
You can meet the creator of The Distant Heart and ask questions about the project and see demonstrations on Saturday 20 & Sunday 21 September 2014, 10.30-17.00 at Victoria & Albert Museum.
Perhaps one of the best known set of early pieces of Computational Jewellery was created in 2002 by a student of the Royal College of Arts for Professor Kevin Warwick Cyborg 2.0 experiment. Sure at first site these necklace and the bracelet could be mistaken with a techno-bling, But they did in fact reflect a remarkable advance in science, implicit interaction and affective design. This was a first time a peace of jewellery on one person was wirelessly connected to the senses of the other person. The implant in Proffessor Warwick's arm was connected both to his nervous system and to the web. when he felt cal, the necklace that his wife Irena war was glowing blue. When it was exited, the necklace was glowing red.
"In all our searching, the only thing we've found that makes the emptiness bearable, is each other.”
It is comforting to know, that as the Voyager 1 entered the interstellar space and left our star behind, it carried a snapshot of our humanity towards the distance worlds. A keepsake, containing voices and cultural references of our moment in time 37 years ago...
A golden record, carried on board of Voyager 1 spacecraft.