The two dresses reading was really interesting for the obvious reason of being about cool dresses that respond to your more physiological responses. They talked a lot about transparency and allowing you to be completely open with your communication. This is very interesting, but I don’t know that I would necessarily want my clothing to light up when I am feeling certain emotions and making that visible to the entire world. Perhaps it’s just me, but there’s something a little empowering to be able to decipher another person’s emotions. If I’m getting all that information from your clothing, then where is the fun in that? This might be especially true when flirting and going on a date with someone. There’s a certain playfulness to the act of flirting and trying to read the other person to see if they are interesting in you as well.
Regardless, that was not the point of this post. I was actually thinking of Philips as an electronics company and what they could do with similar biometric and physiological data in their electronics products. I am reminded a bit of Pari Razmand’s capstone project of music. While I’m not 100 percent sure of her specific topic now, she had mentioned designing something for moods and music–either to augment a mood or to change it using music. What if Philips designed headphones that could read your physiological and biometric data to determine what it thinks the best music for you to listen to given your current mood and state? This could interface with iTunes or other music software/hardware in order to give you a seamless mood experience. Instead of going through your music library and finding what music would currently “speak” to you, what if it did all of that for you.
Reading the paper, I also understand the limitations of this data and the biases that come along with it, but I think that perfecting these algorithms or at least examining what information we are getting from people could hold really intense and awesome personalized experiences for people. Perhaps issues of privacy and whatnot might come into play (perhaps less so for the experience that I was talking about compared to showing publicly your emotions via your clothing), but I still think it’s an incredibly interesting area to look at for the future of designs and “personal informatics” types of designs.