We saw a lot of indifferent ideas in 2013. That’s not too surprising in any tech field, but it’s entirely predictable in something as new and fluid as wearables. But we were kind of shocked (if you’ll forgive the unfortunate pun) to see one idea that genuinely carried the potential for evil.
The “reality mediator” prototype — a chilling euphemism right there — built by designer Ling Tan consists of wearable modules that can give you a shock when it senses that your mind is wandering or that you’re in the wrong place or not moving fast enough. This is merely creepy if the wearer has the ability to remove the devices. It crosses the line into ugliness under all-to-easily-imagined scenarios where the wearer is forbidden or prohibited to take it off.
Here’s a thought experiment: if it were you, would you willingly wear something like this? If you were a boss in charge of a production line, or a jailer in charge of inmates, would you put this on the people under your charge?
This is torture tech, pure and simple.
I’m linking only to the original story here, not the underlying links. No reason to give this any more publicity than necessary.
A bad idea is one thing. This qualifies as something worse. Far and away, the ugliest worst idea of 2013.