Human hair as interactive material

UC Berkeley researcher and artist Eric Paulos and his students continue their explorations of “cosmetic computing” with a new prototype and paper about Human Hair as Interactive Material. If you’d like to coif your own computational locks, they’ve posted a how-to guide on Instructables.

David Pescovitz, Boing Boing April 23, 2018

From their research paper
Human hair is a cultural material, with a rich history displaying individuality, cultural expression and group identity. It is malleable in length, color and style, highly visible, and embedded in a range of personal and group interactions. As wearable technologies move ever closer to the body, and embodied interactions become more common and desirable, hair presents a unique and little-explored site for novel interactions.

In this paper, we present an exploration and working prototype of hair as a site for novel interaction, leveraging its position as something both public and private, social and personal, malleable and permanent. We develop applications and interactions around this new material in HäirIÖ: a novel integration of hair-based technologies and braids that combine capacitive touch input and dynamic output through color and shape change.

Finally, we evaluate this hair-based interactive technology with users, including the integration of HäirIÖ within the landscape of existing wearable and mobile technologies.

HäirIÖ: Human Hair as Interactive Material. Christine Dierk, Sarah Sterman, Molly Jane Nicholas, Eric Paulos. Hybrid Ecologies Lab. Published on Youtube Mar 18, 2018

For more, please listen to Mark Frauenfelder and I interview Eric about Cosmetic Computing in this episode of For Future Reference, a podcast from Institute for the Future:

The Hybrid Ecologies Lab (H•E•L) explores scientific research, design, and art through the innovation, development, deployment, and evaluation of novel physical devices and interactive systems that advance our computing culture, encourage broad participation by non-experts within science and engineering, improve human health and well-being, and provoke critical debate and inquiry concerning our existing and emerging technological society. UC Berkeley

Source Boing Boing

HäirIÖ: Human Hair as Interactive Material, Christine Dierk, Sarah Sterman, Molly Jane Pearce Nicholas, Eric Paulos. Paper Session 2: Shapechanging Textiles & Interactive Materials, Twelfth International Conference on Tangible, Embedded and Embodied Interactions TEI 2018, March 18–21, 2018, Stockholm, Sweden

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