PROJECT#2- Research & Design Concepts Exploration

Project Description:

During the second 4 weeks, students will explore the idea of body transformation and will develop a “functional” Body Extension. Students will be focusing on the voluminosity of the forms, the interaction between the body, its extension, and the surrounding. How it changes the function of the body? How it changes our perception of our bodies? How it changes the understanding of the viewers? Physically, emotionally, politically, socially, etc. Explore the idea of extending a part or few parts of your body into space to be able to have a function you have always wanted to have. The function can be for storage, grabbing objects, protection, disguise, replacement/prosthetics, protest, etc.
Considering how you can use color, shape, form, scale, and material formally or metaphorically. 
Students can explore pattern-making, scale model-making, collapsible & converting structures, abstracting concepts that can visually communicate a story.


The History of Wearable Technology

Today’s infographic not only highlights the history of wearable technology, but it also shows the noticeable acceleration in the advancement and adoption of new innovations. At the beginning, it would take hundreds of years between breakthroughs such as eyeglasses and the abacus ring. Today, new wearable tech innovations happen every month. In the last ten years, we’ve had the Google Glass, Fitbit, Oculus Rift, and countless others.

Interestingly, the history of wearable technology is littered with commercial failures and a few game changers, with not much in between. The reality is, however, that the duds seem to outweigh the successes by a wide margin.

For investors, this means that a strategic investment in a wearable tech company or product could either be a ten-bagger or go to zero. For this reason, due diligence is a key aspect of judging the validity of these companies.

As examples, the air-conditioned hat, Pulsar Calculator Watch, Seiko UC 2000 Wrist PC, and Levi’s ICD+ Jacket never really took off. Even great technologies such as the Google Glass never really generated any returns. This was a lot of risk to take on for no return, but perhaps in the future these patents and knowledge can benefit a company like Google.

The clearest commercial success on the list happened in 1979. The Sony Walkman and subsequent Sony Discman helped put the company on track to become an entertainment powerhouse. Over 400 million Walkman portable music players have been sold over time, with about 200 million of those being cassette players.

However, not all products with good fanfare are destined for success. The commercial potential of many wearable technologies introduced in recent years are still up in the air.

Fitbit filed for a $100 million IPO, but it now has to compete against a plethora of other fitness trackers on the market. The Apple Watch has been launched to much fanfare, but it comes with no guarantees for Apple – a company that needs a lot of new revenues on a product to move the needle. Lastly, the creation of the Oculus Rift could pioneer virtual reality and bring it to consumers. The company was already bought by Facebook for $400 million in cash, $1.6 billion in stock, and an additional $300 million contingent on specific financial targets. Will this transaction ultimately benefit Facebook shareholders? While there are no guarantees, so far reviews have been overwhelmingly positive for the virtual reality device.

What is clear is that, based on the history of wearable technology, devices that move the masses are far and between. The successes that do make it, however, can change the world and generate chart-topping returns.


Depending on the definition used for “technology,” the first wearable technology can be traced back as far as the 13th century, when eyeglasses were invented. Later, in the 16th century, the earliest portable and wearable clocks, Nuremberg eggs, were invented. They were designed to be worn around the neck and became a popular status symbol in Europe until pocket watches and wristwatches arrived. Another early example of wearable technology came in the form of an abacus ring, during the 17th century in China.

The first wearable computer was created by mathematics professor Edward Thorp in the 1960s. In his book “Beat the Dealer,” Thorp revealed that he built a computer small enough to fit into a shoe in order to cheat at roulette. A timing device helped predict where the ball would land on a roulette table, giving Thorp and co-developer Claude Shannon a 44 percent edge in the game.

Over the next couple of decades, several devices popularized and modernized wearable technology. The first calculator wristwatch was released to the public in 1975, and the Sony Walkman arrived four years later. In the 1980s, digital hearing aids were first released.

Wearable technology achieved mainstream popularity with the Bluetooth headset in 2002. Between 2006 and 2013, iconic wearable technology devices Nike+, Fitbit and Google Glass were released. In 2014, dubbed “The Year of Wearable Technology” by several media outlets, activity trackers grew in popularity and the Apple Watch was introduced. Other wearable technology devices, such as those that track seizures or sunlight exposure, continued expanding the industry.




Mood board:

Design Proposal Statement:

Last project, I create a belt design without any functional. So continue the experience from last one, I would try different possible and elements to design a good wearable product. In our daily life, everything can have chance to be wearable. Because the technology promote our ability.


Project Research:

During the research, I got the inspiration from Great helmet. The great helm or heaume, also called pot helm, is a helmet of the High Middle Ages which arose in the late twelfth century in the context of the Crusades and remained in use until the fourteenth century. And the old European country also has castle in their country. I can get some elements from it. I liked to created a high quality, modern product. In its simplest form, the great helm was a flat-topped cylinder of steel that completely covered the head and had only very small openings for the eyes and mouth. Later designs gained more of a curved design, particularly on the top, to deflect or lessen the impact of blows. The great helm is today especially popular amongst live-action role players and in medieval re-enactment such as the Society for Creative Anachronism. It is inexpensive, easy to manufacture with even rudimentary equipment like metal scissors, drill, rudimentary anvil, rivets and hammer, and provides good protection for the head against both sharp and blunt weapons. Thus, I believed great helm could be a good element for my product. I may use the symbol shape and the silk element to create a product.

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