August 15, 2006 Unlike other members of the animal kingdom which reproduce sexually, human beings have one significant difference which greatly complicates the criteria for desire and selection – humans can think. Humans apply not only physical, but societal, cultural and economic criteria to desire and selection and we suspect that the way things are heading with wearable technologies, things are set to become even more complex in the near future. The field of wearable electronics began not all that long ago with rudimentary devices such as heart rate monitors and high tech wrist watches, but will stretch its boundaries beyond belief over the coming decade as displays, microprocessors and sensors invade our clothing. Their function will be quite diverse, from monitoring health, to helping us meet compatible people for business and pleasure to simply expressing who we are, and fashion will take advantage of new technologies to offer expression in ways we haven’t even considered yet.
Somewhere between the TuneBuckle and the flexible displays in Nyx clothing is the EgoKast, a Personal Media Player with a 3.5 inch 320x240 pixel screen that can double as a belt buckle to display the true you in video format at 30 fps for up to five hours. The manufacturers of the US$289 Egokast are hoping the word will catch on as a term describing “media players turned outwards” and is creating a range of appropriate videos to continuously loop as well as promoting the use of original, personal video content to display our values to our public. Almost certainly at some point in the near future a man or woman will meet their life partner based on the catchiness of their personal video content displayed outwards - if not on EgoKast, perhaps on some other digital display incorporated in clothing. At least this form of "sexual display" makes more sense in the context of modern life than some of the mating rituals of the past and present.
UPGRADE TO NEW ATLAS PLUS
More than 1,200 New Atlas Plus subscribers directly support our journalism, and get access to our premium ad-free site and email newsletter. Join them for just US$19 a year.UPGRADE
The Egokast price includes 512mb memory card and the battery will offer five to six hours of playing time, so there’s plenty of time to paint the picture, Perhaps if the concept proves successful it might become more sophisticated as time goes by. Kiosks for example, can detect when someone has stopped in front of them and move from look-at-me mode into seduction mode, where they entice the prospect to come and play – this would make far more sense than an endless loop or a three hour soliloquy.
Anyway, if anybody decides to test out the EgoKast, please do drop us a line and reflect on its success in taking your ego to the world.
And if by chance you don’thook up, the EgoKast can be removed from the case and used as a stand-alone player on the bus on the way home, so our advice is to keep a bit of content up your sleeve for facing inwards usage.View gallery - 11 images