MIT creates jewelery for people who love the sensation of things crawling on them

MIT scientists created "living" jewelry that moves

Some researchers at the MIT Media Lab are working on a project called Kino that involves robotic jewelry that can move around your body of its own volition:

It is our vision that in the future, these robots will be miniaturized to the extent that they can be seamlessly integrated into existing practices of body ornamentation. With the addition of kinetic capabilities, traditionally static jewelry and accessories will start displaying life-like qualities, learning, shifting, and reconfiguring to the needs and preferences of the wearer, also assisting in fluid presentation of self.

Via Quartz.



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"for people who love the sensation of things crawling on them"

Just ride the T at rush hour, they'll feel all sorts of sensations against their body in a jammed red line car.


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This is like a bad art school project. Really, Media Lab?
I'll change my tune if there is a practical application beyond "dynamic personal ornamentation" and allowing me to be too lazy to put my hood on or off.

Never trust anything that

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Never trust anything that comes out of the Media Lab, unless it comes from the basement.

The things they make upstairs are like the kind of things watch in the 15 seconds of a James Bond movie as 007 walks through Q's lab. That's literally the experience the Media Lab tries to create for potential donors that visit the building.

Not the point

You may be too lazy to pull your hood on and off.

Somebody else might need to say "Alexa:pull my hood down" or "Siri: Pull my hood up" and then execute other commands (or respond to rising body temps or dropping external temps) because they have a neurodegenerative disease or other disability that prevents them being aware of temperature or able to control their clothing or both.

Exactly, if there are

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Exactly, if there are practical applications, why portray it as an artsy exercise?
They do great work with technology for the disabled (have you seen their advanced prosthetics?) and yet was that application promoted anywhere here?

I'm more puzzled at the film than the product itself.

This has got to be part of

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This has got to be part of one of those infamous hacks, maybe just a honey pot for some gullible Cal Techian to get sucked into. It can't be serious, can it ? Would our academic paragon really waste resources on such a frivolous project ? If this had been done at Harvard I could understand, but ... MIT ? Maybe they need to test for helium leaks over there.

Contrarian position

Although I share anon's healthy skepticism of the Media Lab, many such projects are greeted with derision by people who somewhat miss the point.

The purpose is not to build self-rearranging jewelry; it's to advance engineering know-how. And, in order to accomplish what looks like a frivolous project, the designers need to score a solid base hit in each of maybe six different technologies, and then make them work together. That know-how has plenty of applications. That's the point, not crawling brooches.

This is what I am hoping.

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This is what I am hoping.
However, they mentioned none of this in the project description, which surprised me. Usually an inventor will push for a greater understanding of the broader applicability of their creation. These guys labeled it as jewelry and left it at that. Makes you wonder what they are REALLY up to, no?