Inclosia Solutions will customize a phone or portable in the fabric, wood or metal of your choice. Here, the company shows off a laptop wrapped in Burberry plaid (with Burberry’s permission) at a wearable computing fashion show at the CTIA wireless conference in New Orleans last month.
Jenny Tillotson designed this spider brooch, which is connected to another brooch over a wireless network. One wearer can send a “scent message” to another by whispering into the voice-activated brooch, which then tells the other spider to release a scent. The pins were shown at the CTIA fashion show. Tillotson is a research fellow at Central Saint Martins College of Art and Design in London.
WHERE THE WILD THINGS ARE
Location, location, location. It’s not a real estate agent’s mantra, it’s the latest twist in social networking services. Thanks to a start-up called Jambo, it’s possible to be on a plane, in the desert or at a conference and be able to see if any friends are nearby. How it works: You create a profile, which the company matches against other profiles for similar interests and sends back to you. Then your WiFi (wireless)-enabled phone or laptop automatically alerts you when a friend is near. The service is only two months old and so far is available only to seniors at Washington University in St. Louis. Soon, Jambo, which is based in Dallas and has six employees, will add travelers at LaGuardia Airport, students at St. Louis University and attendees at several upcoming engineering conferences. Similar services based on cell phone text messaging already are available from Playtxt in the U.K. and Dodgeball in New York, which launched last year and now has more than 15,000 members in 22 cities. You can’t use Dodgeball on a plane, but it’s easy to text message the service when you’re wandering the East Village alone late at night, and founder Dennis Crowley says he uses it to meet friends and friends of friends for impromptu dinners or drinks.
IT SLICES, IT DICES
Fashionistas might soon be listening to new songs and watching movie trailers, broadcast news and, of course, fashion shows on their cell phones, which are quickly becoming the Swiss Army knives of the wired world. The Seimens SXG75, due in September, is an MP3 player, still camera, video camera, FM radio and global positioning system. And, naturally, it also comes with a Web browser, e-mail and instant messaging. Samsung and Sony Ericsson also are prepping combo cell phone-MP3 players, and by May, some Samsung cell phones will play back streaming video at high speed.
Technology companies other than Apple are finally getting hip to the worlds of fashion and art, and Japanese artist Fujii Fumiya’s take on the MP3 player for Toshiba is the latest crossover gadget. Available only in Japan, the special edition of the Gigabeat F10 can store 10 gigabytes of music and retails for approximately $382. Expect to see more artists and designers collaborating with technology companies in the coming months.