Funny what you find on the net! While reading through some links related to wearable computer research I cam across this great page with some thoughts by Ana Viseu about “bodynets” and Identity. Besides that fact that I really like the look of the web site, I like this train of thought:
Identity, loosely defined as the way we see and present ourselves, is not static. On the contrary, identity is primarily established in social interaction. This interaction consists, in its most basic form, of an exchange of information. In this information exchange individuals define the images of themselves and of others. This interaction can be mediated-through a technology, for example-and it can involve entities of all sorts, e.g., an institution or a technology. I am investigating this interaction through the study of bodynets.
Bodynets can be thought of as new bridges or interfaces between the individual and the environment. My working definition of a bodynets is: A body networked for (potentially) continuous communication with the environment (humans or computers) through at least one wearable device-a computer worn on the body that is always on, ready and accessible. This working definition excludes implants, genetic alterations, dedicated devices and all other devices that are portable but not wearable, such as cell phones, smart cards or PDAs.
Besides the matters related to identity, bodynets also raise serious issues concerning privacy, which in turn feedback on identity changes. Bodynets are composed of digital technologies, which inherently possess tracking capabilities, this has major privacy implications.
If you like this, continue reading … there is a lot of additional material. Whenever I see the University of Toronto, I have to guess that Steve Mann is involved. These are all important directions to look at.
I couldn't agree more.