Technology and Emotions

Margherita Olivo
December 4th 2015

We live in a social and selfie culture. Based on this statement a PhD student in the Responsive Environments Group at MIT came up with Halo. Her name is Nan Zhao and her creation consists in a wearable lighting device that, through a LED circle hanging next to your head and shoulders, changes color and shade according to movement, facial expressions, weather and personal (or collective) mood.

Thanks to this ring of LEDs the face of the wearer can be illuminated with 180 independently programmed range of colors, that take inspiration from theater and photographic sets. Using an app on your phone you can manage and control it via Bluetooth.

Light wouldn't be considered as static, it would change according to every action we make or according to the mood we are in. It would become a virtual, recognizable, energetic entity, able to instantly comunicate without the need of particular and conventional interactions.

Light becomes more personal, tailored to our own exigencies and necessities. As by adding a filter to a camera, changing the LED color to this device will instantly change our perspective of other and of ourselves. It could brighten a dreary day or just react to something happening around (or inside!) you.

"On the web, we present ourselves in the way we want, almost like we have multiple identities” Zhao says. Stepping into this changeable world, Halo would represent “kind of like an Instagram filter".

This concept is particularly interesting because it is a different approach to technology, a device that is becoming part of our own image, that is able to combine fashion, customs and utility, shifting lighting from a purely architectural appliance to a strictly personal, emphatic one.

Source and Image: The Guardian

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Siri Beerends: I really embrace the idea that viruses can teach us a lesson in modesty. It is necessary that our position as the dominant species on the planet is being challenged. I also agree that it is a mistake to think that we are becoming Gods. But unfortunately, this is actually what is happening now. Corona doesn’t teach us to be modest, it teaches us how we can -as quickly as possible- go back to business as usual: saving our capitalistic economy.

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