Integrating technology into garments- innovation+
But one has to wonder what inventions like the "vanity ring" will actually do to people and their perception of self-worth and value in the online/offline community at large. The creator of the ring believes that once on the market, only important people will wear the ring to show off their big hit counts! He believes that no one in their right mind would show off one thousand hits on the LED display.
This reminds me of real-world trials I have done using GPS data loggers with Dr Roba Abbas. We asked participants in one field observation to keep a track of their daily movements every day for four weeks 24x7. Some of them returned their reflections indicating their lives were boring in comparison to some of their friends who clocked 10,000 waypoints + per day, as opposed to only a few hundred per day. I guess that has a lot to say for our "quantified society". New benchmarks, new stakes in the ground over what is okay or not okay, keeping up with the Jones etc. What next, insurance companies keeping a tab on us in the same way as the health and well-being sector? I can imagine the conversation now- "just wear this device and if you do 10,000 steps per day your health insurance premium will be significantly lower".
While the vanity ring cannot be updated in real-time (yet) it is reminiscent of the Baja Beach Club RFID implant that was worn by patrons. As the patron walked into the establishment in Barcelona for instance, their name would flash up in writing on a large LED display and people would immediately say "ah, there is so and so again." Here is an interview I conducted with the former IT Manager of Baja in proceedings of IEEE ISTAS10.
The ring is also reminiscent of the forearm display of TIME in the movie JUST IN TIME. See my post here.
In IN TIME the motto is "time is power", in this wearables world it seems "(Google hit) rank is power". Not that that comes as any surprise...