As CES rolled out the wearables last week, I want to introduce you to their counterparts in art. Meet Sensorium, a research center for cross-disciplinary innovation in everything from wearables to the immersive environments they will give us access to.
What's the point of putting wearable technologies in a fine art research lab? It's simple. We're at a point where technologists who know how to build wearable objects need to be sideswiped by people who know what it means to be embodied.
(Em·bod·y) "To be an expression of or give a tangible or visible form to an idea, quality, or feeling."
Embodied things live within you. Think about a dancer showing you what infinity feels like by using her body to twist and span. She embodies the idea of infinity so you can see it visibly. Ask her how to build an Oculus during product design and I bet we'd have something different than we have.
Think about Oculus for a second. No matter how you spin that, we've got a box on our face. That's not embodied. So we're at a point where we've got stellar, yet admittedly clunky attempts at getting media on us. Yet what we want are embodied realities of media being with us.
This is where a fine art research lab like Sensorium comes into play. It is an intersection of the products, and the embodiment, that must come together in order to have human experiences. Yet this isn't an easy task, which is why we're seeing people play with the possible intersections between product and embodiment in some pretty funny ways.
For one of the best of them, check out the hilariously witty experiment, Glass + Oculus, where a box-faced Oculus user can be guided by a Glasshole who can see.
How will the wearables you like this year become embodied in the world?