Week 1 Reading Response – Mary Kate

I agree with Sam that this article becomes increasingly opinionated and subjective as it continues. I don’t necessarily have a problem with authors doing this, even in scholarly journals (when it comes to fine arts). However I found the objective parts of the paper to be more useful for me.

I took special interest in the section about surveillance and privacy. I realized that this article is a bit dated because it neglected to mention some of the major privacy concerns for the typical consumer when it comes to wearables: bombardment of advertisements tailored by data gathered from private interactions (like when you see all-too-relevant ads pop up in your browser after having a certain conversation with a friend on Facebook), personal biometric data being used against us (such as insurance companies increasing premiums in response to fitness tracking device data), being stalked/hacked by technically-inclined “weirdos”/obsessed exes, and of course identity theft. Tracking devices under the skin?! How else can these devices be used? Could these devices be used by the police? Hello, big brother. This stuff is real and technology is advancing faster than protective laws can be written.

I found the explanations of different sorts of materials to be the most illuminating since I don’t know much about them. I am interested in experimenting with the different color changing inks that can be printed on textiles: thermochromic, photochromic, hydrochromic, piezochromic (pressure-sensitive? Umm, neat).

I agree with the author that as this technology becomes more accessible to designers and artists (as opposed to, say, military people) for use in the creation of consumer products, new unthought-of applications of the tech will emerge and it’ll be super-cool! However I also believe in the merit of functional stuff. Really great tech design marries aesthetic and function–no need to sacrifice the latter in favor of the former.

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