Future Fashion of Ubiquitous Computing (Part 2)

Special Operations: OP Utility Vest

Unless I meet a lady with a fetish for military gear and constant network connectivity, the probability of me getting hitched in future might soon diminish.

The Reason (actually two of them)
I’ve started to adopt a more serious fashion for ambient intimacy and memory prosthetics. To keep this dual purpose project going, wearables such as this special operations OP Vest (shown above) would be ideal for all my gear. Forget school bags or fanny packs, this is the real deal. Anything which allows me to design a connected lifestyle will be considered.

Ambient Intimacy (or Continuous Partial Presence)
User experience blogger, Leisa Reichel, shared her thoughts on what she terms as “Ambient Intimacy“. As she highlighted, this isn’t too different from what you might have seen elsewhere, be it Situational Awareness, Hyper-Connectivity, Hive Mind, Social Presence, Distributed Co-Presence etc. To the uninitiated, I personally refer to it as maintaining continuous partial presence, especially since it’s less likely to raise eyebrows.

Confused? If I can do Ambient Intimacy any justice, I believe that this wouldn’t be far from why we’d leave the TV or radio on when we’re alone in the house, or why we twitter and turn on our instant messenging apps at every chance we get. I’ve yet to study if this affects extroverts more than introverts, but I do feel that this motivation to keep personal connections alive fulfills a component of Marlow’s Hierarchy of Needs (1943).

Memory Prosthetics (via deep searchable video, GPS locations, etc)
Besides experimenting with video (and now GPS) as forms of memory prosthetic (hat tip to Alex Halavais), the other aspect of this project leaks into lifestreaming, which (ideally) rolls up my online to offline activities a neat little blog, automatically. Inspired by laziness, I’d want my daily transactions logged for me, while I concentrate on writing better articulated blog posts as “Web 1.0 Saint”, Jakob Nielson, professes. See an excellent follow-up here.

How useful is all this?
We’ll know soon enough.

  • http://deadpoetscave.com/ acroamatic

    Hey Kevin,

    Looks really garang. But if I were to walk around wearing that, I wouldn’t get past any MRT gates!

  • http://vantan.org vantan

    I have no interest in military gear but constant network connectivity is nice (if distracting). I’m looking out for the day that we don’t need any of this gear. Many people will have a chip in their foreheads or right hands. Then Armageddon will come…

  • http://theory.isthereason.com Kevin

    @Kenneth: Yeah… asking for trouble :P

    @vantan: True… Ivan keeps telling me about the novels he reads, where man one day masters everything to a point where he no longer needs technology. Like magic, we’d be able to skip the tech to do what we want… e.g. mind over matter.

  • http://alex.halavais.net Alex H.

    Yes, but how well would your setup deal with this :) :

  • http://theory.isthereason.com Kevin

    @Alex: Now that’s what I’m talking about! His setup must be very rugged. It’s almost like Strange Days where you live out being the motorcyclist who got hit. Good as evidence video. I joked with some friends that Buffalo can be so quiet, at least if I died somewhere, people would know how and why. :)

  • nuMetal

    Not unless some Hobo finds you first, destroy your data and sell your cam on eBay.

  • http://theory.isthereason.com Kevin

    @nuMetal: Oh yes, thanks for reminding me to get a Tazer off eBay. :)

  • http://www.onlyknives.com Greg Roy

    hmm, it’s always wise to sacrifice fashion for comfort, but this?? not too sure.