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``Smart underwear''

A very simple (quite trivial, but nevertheless illustrative) example of a cyborgian device is the smart underwear that I propose as a device to allow the wearer to control the temperature in a room. The apparatus of Fig 1, for example, provides a `sweatiness' index that may be used to control other devices, such as the heater in my home.

 

 


: `Smart' ``underwear'' prototype: (a) Detail, showing ``underwear'' with sensor sewn into waistband. (This version is not actually underwear; a Jantzen bathing suit turned out to work better than underwear.) Transmitter at right has two cables entering it, one is to connect to the sensor, while the other is the transmitting antenna (hanging free). (b) Transmitter in use rests comfortably to left side of body. (c) Receiver, RF signal-strength meter, and bank of high-current (40 amp) relays, together with heater (operating off one of the relays).

This form of interaction with the machine (heater) does not require conscious thought or effort. It differs from other bodily extensions (such as a bicycle) in the sense that it may be worn at all times (even in a gambling casino) whether or not it is being actually used (sensed). For example, the wearer might use it in the office (the base station can be replicated --- one for home, one for office), and then go home and continue to interact in this simple way, with the home heater. (Multiple users create some interesting problems but a discussion of how, for example, husband and wife mutually control the temperature of a heater is a subject for a marriage counseller, not this paper.) While traveling from the office, picking up groceries on the way home, one might completely forget that one is wearing such a device, so the interaction, after some time, does not require conscious thought or effort, and, I believe, comes closer to being cyborgian than even the bicycle that comes into consciuos thought when it is time to park it outside the grocery store.



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Next: Smart eyeglasses Up: Smart clothing Previous: Smart people



Steve Mann
Wed Feb 14 23:28:15 EST 1996