Interactive Intimacy

But it was the Intimacy, a new joint project by Daan Roosegaarde and V2 that became a true hit of the evening. Presented in a cat-walk form, the new electronic dress developed by Daan and designed by Maartje Dijkstra attracted all the eyes in the audience and all the lenses of the photographers.

The technology used in the dress was not, perhaps, the most simple one, but from the interface and interaction point of view it was performing a relatively simple task: the ‘fabric’ was stayed semi-transparent, almost see-through while the viewers were at certain distance, but became opaque if they were getting closer. The dress was apparently reacting to the physical presence of the people around, but could also be triggered by a special ‘interactive ball’, an option which many men in the audience were very eager to try (by the way, the model was stunning).

The debates around the concept were quite hot (partly because by then the show lasted almost two hours, in a close room with a hundred of people in). Is this technology is to reveal or to conceal? Is it aimed to free and empower women or to further subordinate them to the men with the interactive balls?

That was says Daan himself:

A lot is happening in the wearable world, but often it’s very D.I.Y. I would really like to make something that’s quite “slick,” in a good way. I think wearables have enormous potential, but we have to take it to a higher level – for example, by showing that you can use technology to compel intimacy. I really want to add value to electronic culture by bringing it inside other cultural circuits.

I also personally believe that wearables, due to the huge symbolic meaning of clothes, can become one of the most powerful tools for Summ()n’ projects.