400: wearable & mobile technology

Reflection on readings regarding Wearable Technology & Mobile.

The intersection of mobile and wearable technologies have deep historic roots that intertwine and weave into each other.  There are common threads between mobile and wearable technology since the 17th century: “Pocket watches [not only] provide the closest historical parallel to the remarkable rise of mobile cellular phones,” but also a pivotal point of fashion accessories in the making of fine jewelry and watches [1].  From the early Type 300 dial-up telephones to the 1990s FireFly Dress by Maggie Orth, the blurring of physical objects and invisible data has been a ongoing affair [2]. But wearable technology and mobile are physical representations of a greater driving force: data. 

The culture of data, cultivation of data, and design of data are core driving forces of future electronics [3]. Whether the electronics cross over to fashion or health, the data behind each service and product will be crucial. Sarah Scaturro recalls the conflicting of wearable technology and the harvesting of data from Iris van Herpen’s 3D printed “Skeleton Dress” in 2012: Can we collect the code? Is the code the object? Is this the object? [5]. The most obvious contradictions of data comes from culture which, is exemplified by the mobile phone. “The phone might be an international conglomerate, but it was put together in difference ways in different countries” [1].

The designing of data is a focal point for future (UX) user experience designers. The experience, strategies, and methods of understanding the consequences and effects of data will only empower design language.  Most importantly, a designer’s intention on cultivating data sets. What will this data be used for? Will data be used to drive mankind out of employment by replacing jobs? Will data help educate a new generation for technology and craftsmanship? 



1. Agar, Jon. Constant Touch: A Global History of the Mobile Phone. Copyright 2003, 2013 by Jon Agar

2. Fiberscene. Firefly Dress and Necklace 1997 by Maggie Orth. S . Online at http://www.fiberscene.com/galleries/g_images23/orth24.html. Copyright ©2006 FiberScene

3. Gibbs, Samuel. The Future of Wearable Technology is Not Wearables- It’s Analyzing the Data. The Guardian. Online at http://www.theguardian.com/technology/2015/jan/06/future-wearable-technology-analysing-data

4. Seymour, Sabine & Amitai, Paul. Eyebeam. Computational Fashion. Copyright 2014.