Self-moving jewelry. Yep, it’s coming. MIT Media Lab Ph.d student Cindy Sin-Liu Kao has created tiny Kino robots htat are controlled by a magnetic wheel on the inside of your clothing. According to CO Design:
They scuttle across the surface of the fabric, performing tasks or acting purely as decoration. They can drag the strings of a hoody closed, move in patterns dictated by the wearer, or act like a smartphone-connected speaker and microphone, moving up closer to the user’s mouth and ear if they receive a phone call. They’re part jewelry, part interactive clothing.
It’s unlikely these robots will be hitting the runways or the streets anytime soon. Instead, Kao sees her prototypes as exercises in imagining what the future of clothing might look like. Her vision? One day they’d be tiny enough to integrate more seamlessly into clothing. Technology remains a barrier to making that happen right now, and those hardware hurdles have real implications for wearers–in fact, Kao believes the size was part of the reason why people found them so creepy in the first place.
“As technology becomes further miniaturized, there is potential for the things we wear to become much more dynamic and active,” she says. “However, going beyond traditional modalities of displays and LEDs, we introduce mobility as a new vocabulary for on body design.”
via MIT Media Lab:
This work explores a dynamic future in which the accessories we wear are no longer static, but are instead mobile, living objects on the body. Engineered with the functionality of miniaturized robotics, this “living” jewelry roams on unmodified clothing, changing location and reconfiguring appearance according to social context and enabling multiple presentations of self. With the addition of sensor devices, they can actively respond to environmental conditions. They can also be paired with existing mobile devices to become personalized on-body assistants to help complete tasks. Attached to garments, they generate shape-changing clothing and kinetic pattern designs—creating a new, dynamic fashion.
It is our vision that in the future, these robots will be miniaturized to the extent that they can be seamlessly integrated into existing practices of body ornamentation. With the addition of kinetic capabilities, traditionally static jewelry and accessories will start displaying life-like qualities, learning, shifting, and reconfiguring to the needs and preferences of the wearer, also assisting in fluid presentation of self. With wearables that possess hybrid qualities of the living and the crafted, we explore a new on-body ecology for human-wearable symbiosis.
LOVE IT. And it seems the applications for it are endless.