Fabrica researchers Lisa Kori Chung and Caitlin Morris have created a series of objects, designed as a form of clothing, that maintains privacy of thought and action.
Neuro-Imaging Surveillance (NIS) is the concept for the next generation of camera surveillance and biometric identification tracking, which could scan for suspicious thought patterns in the minds of the public.
“The paradigm of clothing as protector and concealer is slowly shifting: increasingly, our bodies are becoming more and more public, while new forms of neuroimaging technology are developing that may one day allow for surveillance and interception of the contents of our minds.” say Chung and Morris.
With Anti-NIS Accessories the designers explore the potential of clothing to serve a hybrid purpose: an expressive covering of the body while maintaining the privacy of things like emotions, intelligence, and even more specific “brain data”.
“Rather than simply blocking access to the brain, which would require unsubtle and complex equipment, each piece proposes a method of momentary cognitive diversion.”
“When a scan is detected, the accessories provoke a sensory reaction that will demand the wearer’s attention, changing their current brain activity patterns and affording a moment of privacy through camouflage.”
The objects include a hat that transmits sound pulses through bone conduction, a collar that gives a gentle electric shock on the skin and a mask that distracts the user with flashing lights.
The three prototypes, crafted out of laser-cut felt and wood, were featured in Futures10, an exhibition organized within the Wearable Futures festival (Ravensbourne, London, UK) – two days of talks, debates and discussions about the future of wearables, from smart material to new technologies.
Chung and Morris are two interaction designers currently at Fabrica.
Caitlin Morris and Lisa Kori Chung
Lisa is more focused on wearable technology, computational fashion and open source patternmaking while Caitlin works with code, fabrication and built environments, with a focus on sound and perception. Both are interested in contemporary issues of privacy and the role of craft in technology, and came together to reconsider the role that garments might play in society and surveillance.