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Second That Emotion

This article is sponsored by MakerCon, the epicenter of the maker movement. It reflects the views of the sponsor, not ReadWrite’s editors.

“What’s neat about working in the wearables space right now is that it is coming to life now more than it ever has before,” says artist, author, and professor Kate Hartman.

“We’re seeing a number of wearable computing products come out that sense, track, and augment our activities in ways that a few years ago seemed completely out of reach.”

The author of Make: Wearable Electronics, Kate joins a panel moderated by Wearable World CEO Redg Snodgrass on May 12 at MakerCon to discuss emerging trends in wearable technology. (Wearable World is ReadWrite’s parent company.) 

What’s fascinating about Kate’s point of view is that she doesn’t consider the Apple Watch, for example, to really fit the rubric of “wearable tech” other than at its essence, it’s technology that you wear.

Register now: MakerCon 2015, May 12

Rather, she and other panelists in MakerCon’s Wearables Breakout Session—who include Lumo BodyTech founder and CEO Monisha Perkash and data scientist Rachel Kalmar—view wearables as possessing the ability to further the personality, express emotion, showcase attitude and point of view, and extend the generous dimensions of an individual’s soul.

“I’m specifically interested in how we as humans relate to ourselves, each other, and the world around us,” Kate told the TED audience when she presented there in 2011. In her work, Kate has played with how to interact with a highly trafficked Canadian glacier, for example, finally deciding to refashion a heat-attractive shield as a body blanket that would allow her to hug the ice mass.

If this is all rather heady, that’s because it’s the leading work of artists and thinkers like Kate, Monisha, and Rachel that are poised to bring about the true promise of wearable technology.

Could your clothes blush or inflate when you’re flustered or happy? Should they?

These innovators imagine a near future in which that’s as commonplace as fabrics that stay just one color or can’t rise of their own accord.

“We’re entering a formative period where we will be deciding what technology we will be wearing and how and when we will be wearing it,” Kate says. “It’s a great time for people to be making in this space because it gives them an opportunity to create and think critically about what comes next.”

Photo of Kate Hartman courtesy of Maker Media

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The ReadWrite Editorial policy involves closely monitoring the tech industry for major developments, new product launches, AI breakthroughs, video game releases and other newsworthy events. Editors assign relevant stories to staff writers or freelance contributors with expertise in each particular topic area. Before publication, articles go through a rigorous round of editing for accuracy, clarity, and to ensure adherence to ReadWrite's style guidelines.

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