The tetherless `wearable multimedia'system (Fig 1(1980)) was designed and built by the author as a tool for `personal imaging', with the goal of attaining an enhanced sense of visual awareness and producing visual art .
The early apparatus, housed in a heavy welded-steel-frame backpack,
weighed more than fifty pounds, and could only run for a short time
per charge. However, `wearable multimedia'
evolved to the
extent of being worn comfortably in a small
waist bag (Fig 1(1990)),
or even sewn into a vest or the like (Fig 1(1995)).
Recently, the system became better known as the `Wearable Wireless Webcam', when, with the advent of the World Wide Web, experiments in visual connectivity and shared visual memory were started , although these experiments were not central to the `wearable multimedia' effort.
Social acceptance is important in the design of any prosthetic device; the hope is that miniaturization capabilities of modern technology will downsize it to the same order as devices such as hearing aids and regular eyeglasses. Attitudes toward various forms of the author's `wearable multimedia' systems have significantly changed over the last fifteen years. In particular, it is now possible to wear the apparatus in many everyday situations where it would have been completely out of place just a few years ago. Through a combination of changes in the apparatus (its having become much less obtrusive, thanks to improvements in technology allowing for miniaturization), and changes in society (increase in society's acceptance of technology), it is not nearly as out-of-place as it was just a few years ago. Privacy issues associated with `wearable multimedia/personal imaging' have also been addressed.
The goal of this paper is to propose `wearable multimedia/personal imaging' and its potential use for either a spatial visual filter or a temporal visual filter. The spatial visual filtering capability is presented as the Personal Visual Assistant, and then the temporal visual filter is presented as the Visual Memory Prosthetic.