Technically Incorrect offers a slightly twisted take on the tech that’s taken over our lives.
Soon we won’t know what is clothing and what is tech.
Just as we won’t know what is human and what is robot.
A new and rather fashionable cape is making me react in strange ways. No, I’m not wearing it. I’m watching a video of the cape itself reacting in strange ways.
This uniquely designed wearable is, you see, equipped with a hidden camera and can allegedly discern the age and gender of those who look at it. Then it responds.
It seems frightfully creepy. And when you view the video, you might decide that’s exactly what it is. The quills of the cape move as if something about the gazer has moved them.
The 3D wearable cape was designed by Behnaz Farahi. She calls her creation Caress of the Gaze.
Farahi told PSFK that the Objet Connex500 3D Printer she used to create the cape “allows the fabrication of composite materials with varying flexibilities [and] densities, and can combine materials in several ways with different material properties deposited in a single print run.”
Farahi and her technological partners at Autodesk’s Pier 9 workshop claim the cape will “respond accordingly” to a gaze.
Whose “accordingly”? It’s unclear whether the cape will react more strongly toward those of the wearer’s target age and sex, for example. Is it programmed to be rampantly ageist?
And won’t this piece of clothing lead to a terribly difficult game of eye contact, across-the-room gaze swapping, and “She loves me, she loves me not”?
Gazers not versed in the cape’s language might feel as if the sudden quill movements are akin to a skunk saying, “Please don’t come any closer, you ugly fiend” and might back off to avoid getting sprayed. (Perhaps the spraying scenario isn’t so far-fetched. Here, for instance, is a dress that not so subtly nudges you away.)
On the other hand, if we can all learn to properly read a new language like this, what beauty will ensue when we no longer have to trade difficult-to-interpret human glances?
Instead, our clothing will do the heavy lifting for us, so that light, effervescent conversation can ensue between people who actually find each other attractive.