WiFi Surfing Jewellery

February 9, 2008 at 11:58 am 2 comments

iphonewifiEver since I got the iPod Touch I find myself mapping the city in terms of WiFi-happy areas. I don’t mean which cafes have unlocked wifi, but which street corners, which tram stops, which apartment doorways. It’s also been fun to follow what the various hotspots are called in different areas, where I find large concentrations, and which areas are dominated by a handful of pay-per hour corporate hotspots. (The hotspots causing the most rage are the ones that show up as unlocked, but then open a webpage requiring you to log in.)

But the interesting part is that I feel like I’ve been literally surfing in this extra ocean-like dimension of the city, looking for good, strong waves. I mean literal surfing, not “browsing”. Kind of a neat feeling, though not particularly practical, and I assume it will wear off once my signal-map gets more familiar.

It gets me thinking about wifi-enabled jewelry again. What would it be like to feel the signals around you, instead of reading them off a list? How could one translate a locked signal vs. an unlocked one (into, say, vibration), or a favorite, trusted signal vs. an uncertain one? And what about those names? Could corporate/Wippies/FON/private signals also have a different “flavor”? I’d love to just be able to “feel” that I just walked into a happy grade-A wifi zone.

I’m sure this is not new. But let’s consider possible inputs:

  1. Vibration: intensity, beat(fast/slow), patterns
  2. Lights: intensity, beat(fast/slow), patterns, colors
  3. Temperature: intensity
  4. Shape: Expansion/contraction, patterns(braille-like)
  5. Display: intensity, beat(fast/slow, patterns, colors, text, images

Of the above, only vibration, temperature, and shape would be inputs that could inform via touch alone. Which is what I’d be going for.

Nitinol could expand/contract AND provide temperature.

Mr. Köykkä might have more ideas for implementation…

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Entry filed under: DIY, Gadgets. Tags: , .

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