Clothing that Provokes Cognitive Diversion

On January 10, 2014
Anti-NIS Accessories_COLLAR_MG_8185_905Recently, Lisa Kori Chung and Caitlin Morris, researchers at Fabrica (communications research centere) working with wearables and computational patternmaking designed clothing that maintains privacy of thought and action.
As they say, video surveillance has become commonplace nowadays, new techniques are being developed for analyzing the massive amounts of information generated. Biometric identification techniques such as facial recognition technology, walking analysis, and voice analysis are often used after an incident has taken place to try to determine the identities of the parties involved. Various companies are working on algorithms to detect persons acting “suspiciously” (based on activities such as running, loitering and carrying packages). We are entering a new period of algorithmic guessing of intention based on external behaviors, before an incident takes place.
Lisa Kori Chung and Caitlin Morris fear that new forms of neuro-imaging technology are being developed that may one day allow for surveillance and interception of the contents of our minds. So they designed anti-NIS Accessories, a series of proposed objects designed as a form of clothing that maintains privacy of thought and action.
Anti-NIS Accessories_COLLAR_MG_8370_905Rather than simply blocking access to the brain, which would require unsubtle and complex equipment, each piece proposes a method of momentary cognitive diversion. When a scan is detected, the accessories provoke a reaction that will demand the wearer’s attention, changing their current brain activity Anti-NIS Accessories_HAT_MG_8252_905patterns and affording a moment of privacy through camouflage. The three objects are a collar which nudges the wearer with a gentle electric shock, a hat with transmits sound via bone conduction, and a mask that distracts the wearer with flashing lights.
Can the purpose of clothing be expanded to serve a hybrid purpose: acting as an expressive covering of the body, and also maintaining privacy of things like like emotions, intelligence, and even more specific “brain data”?
Watch the video below:


Do you really fear technology will enter your thoughts without your permission. Research says it is not possible. What do you think about this?

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